Division One leaders Alfreton visited the Rec on Saturday where they were trounced by Ilkeston Rutland who suddenly went from a team searching for their first win to one of only four unbeaten sides in the second tier.
The result was based on some innovative captaincy by David Smit whose cunning plans were helped by winning the toss and putting the opposition in on a slow, damp surface.
Key to Rutland’s chances were nullifying the batting of former Derbyshire opener Matt Lineker and Smit broke with convention and opened the bowling with off-spinner Danny Bobeszko.
With his eighth delivery, he got one to keep a bit low and trap the left-handed Lineker LBW.
From there, Rutland applied the pressure and with the exception of Jake Simpson (47 not out) Alfreton’s batsmen succumbed.
Bobeszko’s off breaks accounted for the top four and he returned to take the last man for his maiden 1st XI five-wicket haul.
Another off spinner, John Trueman, claimed 3 for 31 as Alfreton crawled to 113 all out.
In reply, Smit held himself back, promoting Ian Banks to open. It proved another inspired decision as Banks soon found his rhythm.
He put on 59 for the first wicket with Trueman (18) and continued to score freely before being caught and bowled for 68, but it only required one boundary from Smit to secure the six wicket win with 20 overs to spare.
If the 1st XI’s bowlers exuded control, then the reverse can be said of the 2nd XI at Morton on Saturday.
Opting to bowl first, they struggled to find the right areas on a wicket as lush and green as a county outfield.
Morton’s openers added 102 for the first wicket, Blair Matthews smashing 72 of them.
Captain Paul Holmes then hit an unbeaten 65 from 28 balls including seven sixes, although he left his declaration too late - giving himself just one extra over to defend 273 for 6.
The first three Rutland wickets fell cheaply but the middle order showed admirable resilience, enabling the last pair of Lewis Jones and Bryan Smith to cling on for a losing draw at 118 for 9.
On Sunday, the 2nd XI claimed their first win of the season by knocking Alrewas out of the Bayley Cup.
Put in to bat, Rutland scrapped their way to 137 for 9 from 45 overs with opener Ken Seaman (68) responsible for half of the score.
Alrewas were immediately in trouble when Bryan Smith ran out one opener and then caught the other off Joe Bird’s bowling to make them 8 for 2.
All Rutland’s bowlers performed well with Bird taking 1 for 14, Aidan Smith 2 for 22 and Danny Shelton 5 for 29.
Alrewas, who only had ten men, seemed doomed at 64 for 8 but their last pair threatened a fightback before Shelton had George Walker scooping one up for Kane Knight to catch and seal a 29 run win.
Rutland’s 3rd XI are now up to third in Nine North after a second win of the season at Selston Town.
Luke White was the hero taking 4 for 42 with the ball and then hitting 42 with the bat.
Selston had set Rutland 153 to win and an 82 run stand for the second wicket between White and Kyle Madison (49) provided the platform, and the middle order all reached double figures to bring victory by three wickets.