Failure to grasp a golden chance of their first win of the season has left Langley Mill United 2nd in serious danger of getting dragged into a relegation dogfight.
The Millers bowled out Chesterfield Barbarians for just 121, but then collapsed to 96 all out themselves to leave them sitting precariously, third from bottom in the Division Four North table of the Derbyshire County League.
Chesterfield opted to bat first but were struggling from the off as Rohit Patel (2-28 in 14 overs) and Alex Bacon (2-43 in 13 overs) bowled tight lines. Inevitably, the slow run-rate gave way to wickets and the middle to lower order was destroyed by first-change Daniel Lacey, who weighed in with 4-33 from a fine 12.1-over spell.
The only batsman to hold up The Millers was home captain Jack Fletcher, who stayed for 102 balls to make a defiant 46 that included four boundaries. Just two other players made double figures -- Adam Woodhouse (18) and Matt Winson (15), although Langley Mill did leak 23 extras, including 19 wides.
In reply, the tone was set from the first over when the visitors lost opener Nick Wright for a duck, trapped lbw by Alex Fowkes (2-27 in nine overs). The ship was steadied by Alex Bacon, who made 31 (four fours), and Daniel Pheasant (18), and at 88-5, they were still arguably favourites to go on and win.
But it all went wrong from there as Chesterfield bowlers Andrew Mosley (3-9 in seven overs) and Adam Woodhouse (3-49 in 14 overs) turned the screw. Once Bacon had gone, run out, the end was nigh and The Millers lost their last five wickets for just eight runs. This Saturday, they visit Eckington 2nd.
ALSO still waiting for their first win of the new campaign are Langley Mill United’s Sunday development team after a six-wicket defeat at home to Langwith in Section Five of the Mansfield and District League.
The bottom-of-the-table Millers could muster only 105, despite 32 from Simon Barnett and 25 from Lewis Clarence. The visitors’ reply did lose a couple of wickets early on but recovered in the hands of Glen Parsons, who made 44.