Ilkeston Rutland 1st XI’s search for a first win of the season goes on after they came up short against some star names at the Rec on Saturday.
Alas, these star names were not cricketing greats but both David Cameron and Barry White played pivotal roles in the success of their Sawley side.
Captain David Smit asked Sawley to bat and there was immediate success for Ian Banks, skittling Matt Bower in the first over.
It brought Marius Conway-Jones to the crease and his patient innings of 80 held his side together as Rutland bowled accurately with Michael Chambers proving especially hard to get away.
At 163 for 4, with eight overs left, Sawley would have been the happier team, but three wickets went down for just two runs, including Conway, stumped by Luke Marriott off John Trueman, and suddenly a chase of under 200 seemed possible.
Richard Lawton had other ideas and crashed 30 from 21 balls as Sawley closed on 212 for 9.
Having already plagued Rutland with the bat, Conway-Jones now set them back with the ball having both Trueman and Chambers LBW in his opening burst.
Much depended on captain Smit and whether Rutland’s lengthy middle order could find sufficient form to see them home.
It looked hopeful for the home side as Damien Jones and Smit put on 45 for the third wicket but it was then that the star names started to shine.
White, a 58-year-old who bowled 15 overs straight through for just 35 runs, had Jones caught for 22 and with his first ball, Cameron had Marriott caught flicking to mid-wicket before he cut one sharply back in to Smit and produced a bellowing appeal.
Some quick thinking by Richard Lawton at gully finally saw Smit run out as he lingered outside his crease.
A promising 50-run partnership then ensued between Darren Cundy and George Moulds.
Moulds was caught on the mid-wicket boundary for 25 as he looked to accelerate the scoring and Cundy, who had played well for 30, lost his balance pulling the spinner and trod on his own stumps.
This put paid to any hope of victory and Rutland closed on 179-8, taking ten points to Sawley’s 17.
If the 1st XI batsmen found unusual ways to get out, the 2nd XI opted for more traditional methods - missing straight balls at Riddings with all ten wickets either bowled or LBW.
It began serenely enough after they were put in to bat with Ross Slater and Richard Siddons adding 26 for the first wicket before Slater set the tone, missing a slower ball from the speedy Drew Fenn.
A clatter of wickets then followed and at 42-7 it seemed doubtful they would make 50 but Lee Bradley made a mockery of his team mates’ troubles.
Fenn, who had 5 for 28 under his belt, was given particularly harsh treatment - smacked for six boundaries in Bradley’s unbeaten 29.
Chasing just 75, Riddings’ innings lasted five minutes less time than the tea interval with Paul Fenn sealing it with three sixes off Rutland skipper Bryan Smith.
Glory, however, came from an unlikely source - Gallows - where a makeshift 3rd XI recorded the club’s first win of the season, a 27-pointer against Mickleover.
It was a triumph for captain Jeff Dunbar, top-scoring with 38 and wrapping up the win with a caught and bowled and figures of 3 for 16.
Rutland had made 158-6 with James Fearnside (18), Kyle Madison (31) and Baljinder Singh (20 not out) all contributing.
Alex Watson then cut through the Mickleover batting with 3 for 30 before Dunbar polished off the tail for a 29 run win.