West Hallam welcomed second in the league Breadsall to Cock Orchard on Saturday in this Division Four North encounter.
This game promised to be a good test for Hallam, who were going into the game without Barrow, Cruz and Clarkson, all of whom have been crucial in the side’s successes this season.
Tommy Lockhart seems to have a knack for winning the toss and asked Breadsall to set the score. Breadsall came out of the blocks, quickly scoring at five an over until Lockhart introduced Tingle into the attack to replace James Lockhart.
Tingle and Hort put the brakes on Breadsall’s batsmen and, when drinks came round, at 23 overs, Breadsall were sitting nicely on 70-0.
From this position, Breadsall were surely eyeing 220-plus but once the first wicket fell, thanks to a run out from superb fielding by Tom Lockhart, the run rate fell, Breadsall couldn’t find the boundaries they needed and closed on 177-7, with Hort claiming 3-42 and one wicket each for the Lockharts.
Hallam started the run chase cautiously and were unlucky to lose Thomas Brandrick early on. However, Hampton-Matehe and Tatler set about building a base for the innings. Tatler fell but Rayton came to the crease and found the boundaries with powerful shots off the medium pace of Guyler.
When Hampton-Matehe fell for 57, there was still plenty of work to be done and runs were hard to come by. When Hallam entered the final over needing eight, they required a hero. When Lockhart worked the first ball for one, Mark Hill was brought onto strike, the second ball went for two and then Hill played and missed at the next two.
The fifth ball saw James Lockhart ran out backing up and Hill was left needing five from the final ball. Hinckley, who had bowled so well, inexplicably bowled a short wide one which Hill took great pleasure in despatching over extra cover for a towering six to see Hallam home to another hard-earned win.
Meanwhile, the second team’s season seems to have stalled slightly and they found themselves batting first at Eckington. Hallam posted 156-7 with Harry Andrew top scoring with a confident 52. Defending this total was always going to be tough with Hill, Henshaw and Walker all missing and Eckington strolled to victory with only three wickets lost.
As for the thirds, Clowne visited Beech Lane and were asked to bat first, posting 129-7 with Ryan Tingle claiming 3-27. Hallam would have fancied their chances. However Clowne’s bowlers made life hard for Hallam who settled for a losing draw, on 107-8.