A bit like the summer, Ilkeston Rutland’s season continues to refuse to get going. And after a dreadful weekend, marked by two heavy defeats, they must be wondering when it will.
Rutland are back in the relegation zone after a thumping 151-run reverse on Saturday at Dunstall, the new leaders of the Derbyshire County League’s First Division. And they are out of the league cup, the Marston’s Smooth Trophy, after a shock ten-wicket thrashing at the hands of a South Wingfield team from the division below.
Given that their only league wins this term have come from bowling first, captain Luke Marriott had no hesitation in asking Dunstall to bat first, particularly with overhead conditions favourable and thunderous clouds gathering.
A deluge looked inevitable, but it never arrived. Instead the only claps of thunder came off the bat of Dunstall opener Shaun Jenkinson (36), who attacked anything over-pitched and hit Rob Green for a straight six.
Jenkinson finally perished in the 12th over with the score on 50, unable to resist another thrash over the infield and top-edging Chris Trueman jnr for a catch to Ian Banks. And for a while after that, Rutland asserted control without creating too many chances. All the bowlers found good lengths and Dunstall trio James Benstead (21), Callum Brodrick (27) and Daniel Welch (26) were all forced to graft as their run-rate subsided.
Rutland’s hold was such that, with five of the 50 overs left, and despite taking only four wickets, Dunstall had made just 177. However, they ended with an impressive 236-7 after Barbadian import Kevin McClean, who had made 19 from his first 32 balls, clubbed 54 from his next 25 to finish on 73no. McClean received terrific suport from George Scrimshaw (41), and the pair shared 99 for the fifth wicket.
For Rutland, Adam Slater’s 4-59 were his best figures for the first team, and some patchy fielding could not disguise the excellence of Marriott, who gave up the gloves for the weekend and led by example in the outfield, holding one sharp chance.
Chasing far more than they expected, Rutland were soon in deep trouble. Ross Slater’s stumps were dislodged by left-arm quickie Jordan Bulpitt, and McLean then had Matt Parry caught behind. The slide continued with David Smit (11) edging Bulpitt to make it 22-3.
Only Banks, with a breezy 33, reached double figures and Rutland slipped away to 85 all out, with Bulpitt taking 4-18. Their paltry return of three points means they are next to bottom in the table and badly needing a first home league win of the season on Saturday when they take on Alrewas.
RUTLAND’S cup exit on Sunday was a self-inflicted wound as their best batsman (Smit) was unavailable after pulling his hamstring and the wicket was wet, meaning the tie against their Second Division visitors could have been cancelled.
To compound matters, they lost the toss and then committed the sin of failing to bat out their overs, succumbing for 155 in the 34th.
The top four -- Banks (15), Parry (28), Green (26) and Marriott (13) -- all made starts but then found ways of getting themselves out to quite ordinary bowling, and the rest of the order subsided, with Harry Brown taking 6-32 for Wingfield.
Armed with a strong bowling line-up, Rutland still felt they had a decent chance, but Aussie Charlie Parker smashed an unbeaten 87, no wickets fell and in 27 overs, it was done.
RUTLAND 2ND had their league game against Hartshorne abandoned after the visitors had made 201-6 and they had replied with 42-2 from 20 overs when the rains came. But the third team won, thanks to Mark Kilday’s return of 8-23 that saw Butterley bowled out for 122.