Late wickets cost Rutland a victory

One team is heading for promotion while the other is 100 points adrift and with nothing more than pride to play for.

This, perhaps, was one explanation for Alfreton prevailing in a match they looked destined to lose for much of the afternoon.

It was a big win for the hosts, currently second in the table. Ilkeston Rutland have proved to be awkward opponents in recent times - their last four league scores 113, 95, 128 and 119 bearing testimony to the fact.

With this in mind, Rutland put their hosts in but failed in their primary task of removing Matt Lineker cheaply.

The former Derbyshire player is the only man to top 1,000 runs this season and although he fell short of his seasonal average - 92.17 - his 84 from 94 balls set his side up for a decent total.

His dismissal, caught behind by Vic Pilbeam off John Trueman’s off breaks, allowed Rutland back into the game.

For the next ten overs, they dominated with Trueman also accounting for Alex Mace (36) during a tidy 15-over spell which brought 3- 55. That stranglehold ended with a destructive 51 off 39 balls by Jonathan Clarke, including three fours and five sixes.

The target of 233 was more than Rutland wanted to chase but nothing that should have proved beyond them especially given a good start.

David Smit provided just that. He is second only to Lineker in the Division One run charts and equally as dominant a figure to his team.

The fact that he fell for 51 - 33 less than Lineker and Alfreton’s winning margin was 31 runs - tells its own story.

Smit was dismissed by a sensational catch in the deep by Tom Bentley and earlier Michael Chambers had fallen to a similar stunner in the slips, courtesy of Mace.

Still Rutland should have won. Rob Green (38), Damien Jones (36) and Luke Marriott (19) all made contributions at a speed that ought to have seen them stroll over the line.

It looked like it when only 55 were required from 16 overs with six wickets in hand but young fast bowler Adam Burton changed that. He bowled Jones and then mopped up the tail with ruthless efficiency, ending with 5-41 as Rutland lost six wickets for 13 runs.

Rutland’s 2nd XI were ruthlessly brushed aside by promotion chasing Morton Colliery at the Rec.

Put in to bat, they had lost eight wickets for 53 by the 19th over and only a patient unbeaten 18 from captain Bryan Smith prolonged a game that looked destined to be over before the tea had brewed.

Chasing just 77, Divison 4 North’s leading batsman Blair Matthews did not hang around, pummelling 55 from 39 balls in the nine-wicket win.

Rutland’s 3rd XI somehow managed to lose against lowly Selston Town in Nine North, despite bowling the visitors out for 92. That score was a one-man show with Ryan Edson making an unbeaten 61 with the next best contribution being five.

Kyle Madison returned season’s best figures of 4-19 but it was all in vain as the batting imploded to leave Rutland on the wrong end of a 15-run loss.