An unbeaten knock of 74 from Lance Humphreys gave Langley Mill a dramatic one wicket win over Morton Colliery at Station Road.
Both teams pushed hard for the victory and, chasing Morton’s 190-8, the Millers made it with just three balls of the innings remaining in this Derbyshire Division 2 fixture.
Captain Jack Scott won the toss and for the first time this season opted to bowl first. It had the desired effect as Scott removed Ashley Caunt (0), caught by Andrew Bailey, and then Humphrey had Matt Haw trapped LBW (1) as Morton slipped to 7-2.
Blair Matthews and Jack Stone came together and slowly built a partnership for the third wicket by seeing off the new ball. They batted very patiently for 21 overs but the quality of the Millers’ bowling unit limited them to 66 off 25 overs.
Jay Holmes then made the breakthrough, firstly Stone (20) caught by George Brandrick and then Matthews (34) followed caught by Matt Heafield. The Morton innings needed bulking and Harry Wilmott (80*) did just that with a six to set the tone.
Holmes was the pick of the bowlers with 3-49, Bailey 2-16 and there was a wicket a piece for Scott, Humphrey and Simon Lacey as they kept the chase under 200. Scott led from the front as his opening spell of 14 overs went for just 25 runs.
In reply the Millers had been warned about complacency and not giving their wicket away, but it seemed to fall on deaf ears as a repeat of last week’s collapse started to leave them on the brink.
Openers George Brandrick and Josh Lacey looked comfortable and after five overs the score was 25-0. A mix-up led to Lacey being ran out for four, quickly followed by Jamie Salmons (9) picking out Blair Matthews.
Jay Holmes (9) consolidated with Brandrick (50), but at the half-way point both where out as the Millers where 81-4. After this the Millers became edgy as Morton sensed a victory. The Millers continued to lose wickets but picked up runs to edge closer.
With 10 overs to go, the Millers were 148-6 with danger man Lance Humphrey still at the crease. Forty-three runs were needed and each of the last few wickets had mini partnerships. The game came down to the last over with two runs required.
Experienced Simon Lacey (2*) held his nerve with Humphrey (74*, 7x4, 3x6) to see the Millers home. A gallant effort from Morton who never gave up. The win keeps Millers top of the league ahead of their visit to Sawley on Saturday (1.30pm start).