West Hallam romped to victory against South Wingfield at Cock Orchard despite missing three key players from the line-up.
The visitors won the toss and didn’t hesitate in asking Hallam to bat first on a wet wicket.
After losing overseas player Jeandre Ludick early, Matt Tatler and Martin Brandrick set about establishing a base for the innings to build on.
When Tatler was out caught for 49 the score was 162 and provided the incoming Tom Brandrick with an ideal situation, allowing him to play freely and he did just that by blasting 32 from just 19 balls before being run out.
Martin Brandrick carried his bat through the entire innings for a superb unbeaten 103 as Hallam posted 247 for 4 from their 46 overs.
With three of Hallam’s frontline seamers missing, opener James Lockhart had a new partner in the form of Robert Lathbury.
The pair made short work of the Wingfield top order with Lathbury taking centre stage with a magnificent return of 5 for 18 from ten overs.
The other wickets went to Lockhart 2-47, Ludick 2-21 and Tom Lockhart 1-3 as Wingfield were bundled out for just 92 and Hallam took a maximum 27 points to go top of Division Two.
Tatler claimed four catches behind the stumps but the star of the show was Christian Hardy who took three stunning catches, all early contenders for catch of the season.
Hallam’s second team travelled to face Stanton Elks’ first XI and they were asked to bat first by the hosts.
Hallam could only post 127 from their 46 overs and it was a story of batsmen getting starts but failing to capitalise with Steve Rayton (36), Jeff Lockhart (19) Kristian Tingle (20) and Harry Page (25) all guilty of getting in and getting out.
Hallam worked hard to defend the total but couldn’t prevent Stanton getting over the line thanks to a captain’s innings of 65 not out from Matt Sisson.
Darren Ashmole, making his second team debut, took 2-35 from his ten overs and there was a wicket for Harry Page as Hallam could only claim three wickets.
The third XI’s clash with Spondon was cancelled.
Shipley Hall fell to a four wicket defeat at home Walton-on-Trent on Saturday.
The incessant rain over the previous few days proved to be a bonanza for all of the bowlers and especially for the team which won the toss and asked the opposition to bat first.
This is exactly what happened at Shipley when the opposition called it right and put Shipley in to bat.
All of the batsmen had problems with the unpredictable wicket and Mark Starr, Richard Gregg and Neil Parkin fell quickly.
When Andrew Bowley was then run out, Shipley had lost four wickets for a mere 26 runs.
It was then that James Cokayne (33) and Tom Starr (18) enjoyed a useful stand to improve Shipley’s fortunes but other wickets continued to fall at regular intervals.
Matt Murfin scored ten but there was a succession of ‘ducks’.
With the help of 16 extras, Shipley scrambled to 92 all out, their lowest score of the season so far.
For Walton, James Blackwell (3 for 25) and Ed Chapman (4 for 24) exploited the conditions well. They were supported by Dan Russell (1 for 15) and Lewis Williams (1 for 23)
When Walton batted, they too found difficulty with the unpredictability of the wicket.
David Farnsworth spear-headed the Shipley attack and took four wickets for 22 runs - a very good contribution.
Tom Starr and Murfin each took one and with the score on 61-6 it seemed as if Shipley might even win the game.
However, two good innings from Phil Preston (22 not out) and Eddie Sloane (17 not out) saw Walton pass the Shipley total and claim 22 points to Shipley’s three.