The last weekend of the season saw Rutland involved in tight finishes on Saturday, followed by disappointment on Sunday for all but the third XI.
The first XI entertained Duffield and ended up sneaking a winning draw when the visitors blew a glorious opportunity in the final minutes of the match.
Rutland elected to bat and David Smit and John Trueman added 87 before Smit (37) dragged one onto his stumps.
Trueman was LBW to spinner Adam Short for 66 who then removed Rob Green and Michael Chambers for 27 in the space of ten balls. Luke Marriott (20), Darren Cundy (25) and Danny Shelton (18) helped the tally up to 224 for 9. Short ended with 6 for 67.
Rutland’s bowling began well with Ian Banks taking two early on before Trueman added three more to his collection.
Duffield looked in peril at 137 for 6 but their two Thomases, Roe and Holmes, added 75 and needed just 13 runs from 13 balls when Roe, on 73, attempted to hit Green for six and and was caught by Trueman.
In the next over, Holmes skied Chambers to Smit at cover and Duffield’s moment had gone. They closed on 218 for 8 with Rutland taking 16 points to their 12.
Sunday was one to forget. The captain got lost on the way to Clifton’s ground and by the time he had his whites on, his side were three down for not many. His day was completed by a third ball duck.
Only Chambers (28) batted for any length of time and Clifton easily chased down the 99 required to win by nine wickets.
For Rutland’s long-relegated 2nd XI the final weekend was all about avoiding the wooden spoon and on Saturday they travelled to South Wingfield for the basement showdown.
A thriller ensued. South Wingfield chose to bat and struggled against some initially tidy bowling from Joe Bird and Lewis Jones.
But Ashley Tranter put on 136 for the first wicket with Andrew Goodall (77) and the hosts were eyeing 250 before Jeff Dunbar’s spell of 3 for 10 showed earlier bowlers where to pitch it.
Rutland began the chase of 232 with vigour. Lewis Jones smashed 30 from 19 balls and the hundred was reached in the 19th over for the loss of just two.
A mini-collapse saw Rutland slip to 111 for 5 but David Robinson, either side of a rain break, went on to reach 120 with some clean striking.
With 24 needed in eight minutes his attempt to get back on strike saw him run out by a direct hit. Rutland ended on 222 for 9, taking 14 points to South Wingfield’s 15.
The following day the 2nd XI crumbled to Chesterfield, being bowled out for 107 with only Ross Slater (30) surviving for any length of time. South Wingfield were also thrashed meaning Rutland stayed off the bottom by a point.
On Saturday, the 3rd XI capitulated by 165 runs at Duffield but all efforts were trained on Sunday and the visit of local rivals West Hallam.
Batting first, James Fearnside (43)provided a solid start with Lee Bradley (33) before the fireworks came from Aidan Smith. He hit 106 from 68 balls while skipper Jeff Dunbar crashed 33 from 23 to close on 270 for 6.
West Hallam opener Oliver Hubbard made 41 and Harry Page 21 but both were blown away by Kyle Madison whose eight lively overs produced 6 for 47 as Hallam were all out for 131.