by Jim Sumner
Shipley Hall CC took full advantage of two fixtures last weekend against second-placed Walton-on-Trent and then Heanor Town to earn 44 points and move into the upper reaches of the DCCL Division Three.
Matt Murfin had a field day on Saturday against Walton, taking 5-28 in a superb 12-over spell and was well supported by Ryan North, who took 3-41 in his 12-over stint.
A feature of the game was the excellent catching and fielding of the Shipley team to give their bowlers great support.
The only batsman of merit in the Walton side was number nine Sloane who hit a belligerent 42 as Shipley restricted Walton to 143 and earned themselves a few extra overs in which to get the runs.
Veteran Mark Starr showed the way with the bat for Shipley, batting soundly throughout the innings to accumulate 64 not out.
Ryan North and Tom Starr added 20 and 24 respectively as victory was achieved for the loss of six wickets.
On Sunday, Shipley took on local rivals Heanor Town, winning the toss for the second day running and asking their opponents to bat.
Heanor slumped to 64-7 with Murfin again bowling well to take 3-36 in eight overs and Martinus Gouws took 3-46 in his 11 overs.
Ryan North gave them good backing with 2-34 in 11.
Heanor rallied a little to reach the comparative respectability of 139 all out, only two of their batsmen having been able to reach double figures.
When Shipley started their reply, they quickly lost Cokayne, Gouws and Mark Starr as Barber took three wickets.
Shipley were 78-5 and then 106-7, having to fight for every run.
When the last pair came together, Shipley still needed five to win and a four from James Parkin eventually saw them home for their second 22-point haul of the weekend.