Glastonbury Festival weekend, and Ilkeston Rutland briefly glimpsed Nirvana on Saturday afternoon only to be Pulped at Chesterfield.
Having been put into bat and mustered a below par 194 on the fast-scoring Queen’s Park, Rutland looked like Toast after a boundary blitz from Derbyshire’s James Pipe.
He had just helped himself to a sixth four from Rutland skipper Rob Green when the big-hearted left armer had him brilliantly caught at short extra cover by David Smit.
Suddenly, both Green and the game were transformed. Chesterfield, who had romped to 50 without loss in the ninth over, found themselves at 67 for 5 and Green’s expensive looking figures had been salvaged by four wickets in the space of 14 balls.
With a maximum 27 points on the horizon, it seemed the Times Were A Changin but sadly Rutland’s hopes were left Blowin in the Wind as Chesterfield were saved by their keeper Drage Thompson and positive cricket from their lower order.
Aaron Jepson (28) hit three boundaries and a six as the score moved onto 116 and former Derbyshire player and County goalkeeper Chris Marples added 16 of his own.
When James Lockhart, who had bowled from the start, removed Marples in his final over, Chesterfield were 37 runs short with three wickets remaining.
But with seamer Ian Banks suffering a back injury, Rutland appeared short of bowling options and Green was unable to conjure up another wicket-taking burst in his second spell.
In fact, Thompson (63 not out) and Brian Gladwin (21 from 12 balls) raced over the line with over 14 overs remaining.
Chesterfield hit 33 boundaries in their chase compared to just 14 by Rutland in their innings.
Smit, again, top-scored. This week he had carefully plotted his way to 55 from 91 balls when he swept at off-spinner Gladwin and was given LBW.
Tom Brandrick (21) and Danny Shelton (33) both threatened a telling score but fell to the spin of Simon Lacey and it was left to Andy Flindall (27) to rally the lower order towards a decent target.
In the end, a game that could have gone either way, slipped from Rutland’s grasp and they remain at the bottom of the Premier League table.
The 2nd XI could have done no more against Riddings on the Rec.
Having been put into bat and then seen the game reduced by drizzle to 39 overs per side, Rutland batted as well as they have all season.
Martin Brandrick (56) and Chris Palfreyman (53) eased them into a position of dominance with an 82-run stand for the third wicket and the middle order cashed in adding 70 from the last ten overs to reach 193 for 5 on a damp wicket.
Accurate opening spells from Palfreyman and Chris Trueman Jnr put the game beyond Riddings who soon needed over seven-an-over. They ended on 160 for 5 giving Rutland 15 points for the winning draw.
The 3rd XI came up against Divison 8 North leaders Wirksworth at Gallows and were well beaten.
Opener Neil Taylor made an unbeaten 108 and Jack Currell blasted a boundary-laden 58 to set Rtland a daunting target of 250 to win the game.
Just like the week before, Joe Bird (32) top-scored, much of the batting collapsed and it was left to the tail to save the game.
Some plucky batting from James Fearnside (12 not out) and Vic Pilbeam (11) threatened to do it again but Garry McCabe finished Rutland off with 7 for 37.
l A ‘Friendly XI’ did record a win on Sunday against Etwall, posting 288 for 7 with George Brandrick (still only 13-years-old) reaching his first 100 and Ken Seaman blasting 83 over some friendly boundaries.
The visitors ended on 166 for 7 from their 40 overs with Alex Watson the pick of the bowlers with 2 for 12.
Rutland’s U17s made it seven wins from seven games when they beat Awsworth on the Rec by 64 runs.
Again, the batting wobbled but this is a resilient team and every week someone steps up to the plate.
This time a 50-partnership for the fourth wicket between Adam Slater (27) and Joe Bird soothed the nerves after three quick wickets for the visitors.
Bird’s brutal 42 from just 25 balls included six boundaries and two sixes and set up a good score which was secured by Jakob Hill who cracked 29 from 25 deliveries.
Chasing 130, Awsworth’s challenge faded fast after their big hitting early batsmen came and went in quick succession.
Rutland’s U13 side slumped to a surprise defeat at the previously winless Spondonians on Sunday morning despite having the home side flailing at 18 for 6 and then 34 for 8.
Even though Tom Forrester’s 32 not out helped Spondon reach 70, Rutland appeared to be in cruise control at 43 for 2. Moments later they had crash-landed - 63 all out.
Rutland Juniors played a significant role in Erewash U15s’ narrow seven-run win over South Derbyshire at Ockbrook on Sunday.
Man-of-the-match was keeper Vic Pilbeam who, batting at number nine, lasted almost 30 overs in helping Erewash out of the mire and up to 139 from 45 overs.
In a thrilling finish, Rutland’s Adam Slater had Jamie Sleigh LBW for 42 to secure a dramatic win.