Much-changed Nutbrook paid the price for the unavailability of several key players when sliding to a 27-run defeat away to fellow mid-tablers Duffield in Division One of the Derbyshire County League.
Skipper Steven Sanderson (1-28) won the toss and after asking the visitors to bat first, things looked like materialising nicely when he himself bagged a wicket in the third over, having opener David Whiteley caught by Harry Thoman for 13.
But Duffield steadily recovered and ended up posting a fair total of 202-6 in their allotted 50 overs, thanks largely to a half-century by number three batsman Paul Bakel.
Bakel stroked seven boundaries in making exactly 50, and shared profitable stands of 37 with Chris Sheldon (20, four fours) and 52 with skipper Thomas Roe (34, one six and four fours).
Sheldon was dismissed with the third ball bowled by Nutbrook’s first-change bowler, Kas Hussain (1-38), but it needed a run out to remove Bakel, with the total on 102 in the 23rd over.
The visitors battled back, courtesy of Harry Duckles, who took 2-32 in a terrific 15-over spell, including the scalp of Roe. But although their run-rate suffered, Duffield kept their heads above water with a sixth-wicket stand worth 67 between Peter Jenkins, who hit 42 (three fours), and Daniel Clarke, who finished on 33no (three fours).
The Brook’s reply got off to its customary poor start when Sanderson fell in the fourth over for just five. He was the first of four victims for Joe Woznicka-Wells (4-49 in 13 overs), who proved troublesome all innings.
Things went from bad to worse as three more batsmen departed to leave the away side rocking on 26-4. And although opener Mohammad Ikram dug in for a 74-ball 31 (one six and three fours), when he was caught, Nutbrook looked to be heading for inevitable defeat on 71-6.
To their credit, they refused to buckle and after a gritty 14 from George Magdelano, determined defiance came from Richard Henshaw and Hussain, who kept the victory flame flickering.
Henshaw made 38, including three boundaries, while Hussain added 31, including one six and three fours, and further admirable resilience was shown by young tailender Joe Taylor, who scored 17 in his first senior game.
At 175-8, with Henshaw and Taylor at the crease, Nutbrook still had a squeak. But both fell without the addition of any further runs and Duffield were able to grab the spoils with one over remaining.
This Saturday, The Brook are at home to third-placed Alvaston and Boulton.