Hammered Stanton Elks paid the price for fielding a weakened side when sliding to a heavy and deserved defeat at home to fellow title-chasers Wirksworth and Middleton 2nd in Division Six North of the Derbyshire County League.
Because of absences and injuries, Elks were without key players, including two regular bowlers, and their plight wasn’t helped when Tom Windley had to be taken to hospital with a dislocated finger and ligament damage after hurting himself trying to stop a drive off his own bowling in the fifth over.
Wirskworth cashed in and amassed a total of 204-4 in their allotted 46 overs before dismissing the hosts for just 63 to join them on the same number of points in joint second in the table. Both teams are two points behind leaders Apperknowle, to where Elks make the long journey this Saturday.
Despite the injury to Windley, the home bowlers battled on, and their saving grace was an excellent spell by Sam Trueman, either side of a rain interlude, which deserved better figures than 0-26 from 14 overs.
However, the Elks attack could not find a way to dislodge opening bat Luke Boden, who was the mainstay of the visitors’ innings and went on to make 108.
Boden and Dave Greatorex put on 69 for the first wicket, both making the most of being dropped off the bowling of Simon Walker before they had reached 20.
The introduction of Alex McGinley (3-82 in 12 overs) brought the first wicket as he bowled Greatorex for 22. But Boden shared in an even bigger partnership, worth 93, with Stuart Poplar, who hit several boundaries before being bowled by Neil Sanderson for 45.
Elks’s reply was as miserable as the drizzly weather as they lost wickets at regular intervals against tight Wirksworth bowling, spearheaded by James Brierley (4-18 in 9.1 overs), Jack Currell (2-6) and Liam Duffy (2-6).
Matt Winfield offered some resistance with a top score of 26 until Brierley got a ball to turn a lot and bowled him. Walker (15) was the only other double-figures’ contributer.
DAN Dakin took charge of Stanton Elks 2nd for the first time when they travelled to Clay Cross for a Division Nine North contest. However, his side were bowled out for 98 before rain forced an early abandonment.
Paul Cook made 23no, Dakin hit 17, Tom Law 13 and Phil Murphy 12, but most of the honours went to Clay Cross bowlers Steve Nottingham, who took 3-28, and Steve Horsley, who bagged 3-29.