League and cup dismay for Ilkeston

Bowler Rob Green took three wickets for Ilkeston on Saturday but ultimately it was the rain that saved them from defeat.
Bowler Rob Green took three wickets for Ilkeston on Saturday but ultimately it was the rain that saved them from defeat.

Ilkeston now have no senior silverware to play for after their first XI exited the Marston’s Cup and County 20:20 competition on one calamitous Sunday morning.

Defeat at Rolleston capped a miserable weekend for the club with the first XI saved by the rain at Elvaston, the 2nd XI failing to win either of their fixtures and the 3rd XI having their ‘banker’ against struggling Matlock cancelled.

It all began promisingly on Saturday when, having won the toss at Elvaston, Rutland had their opener Sam Yaxley out to his first ball – hacking a Sam Moulds long-hop to point.

But Rutland lost Moulds to a back injury after five overs and struggled to make serious inroads without him.

Opener Dan Randle (67) supported by John Mills (24) and James Bodill (21) put the home side on course for a score of 200-plus in a game reduced by weather to 46 overs.

An effective return spell by Rob Green, allied to some canny variations from David Smit at the other end, halted their charge. Wickets tumbled and the home side were all out for 169 in the final over with Smit taking 4-57 and Green 3-36.

This represented a challenging target and Rutland faltered immediately with Michael Chambers and Luke Marriott out LBW for four and nought respectively.

Damien Jones then joined Smit and hit four sumptuous boundaries before lashing a wide one to point, while Smit (22) was then beaten by a Naeem Akhtar inswinger and became the third of four LBWs.

Matt Wakefield showed intent with three boundaries but he holed out in the deep and wickets continued to tumble.

Survival looked most unlikely at 75 for 8 with 24 overs remaining but a heavy shower brought the players off and although they returned for two more overs a further rain-burst ended proceedings with Elvaston taking 12 points to Rutland’s 11.

Their good fortune seemed to be holding when they went to Rolleston for the County 20:20 and found their hosts had sent their first team to play in a National Village Cup tie in Worcestershire.

But cricket is cruel to the complacent and despite facing players from several divisions below, Rutland’s batsmen found that every time they hit the ball in the air a Rolleston player caught it.

So it was that they mustered just 74 all out from 16.5 of their 20 overs, a target Rolleston reached for the loss of seven wickets, Damien Jones with 3 for 10 for Ilkeston.

l Rutland’s 2nd XI need a win to drag themselves out of Division 4 North’s relegation zone and it looked promising at the Rec on Saturday as they won the toss and had Clowne Town two down within just nine balls.

But they could not capitalise as Clowne captain Adam White (41) and Dale Steers added 68 for the third wicket, the latter going on to make 82. For Rutland, Chris Trueman Snr ended with 4 for 56 as Clowne closed on 189 for 9.

Rutland’s were three down for 35 within six overs but George Brandrick (30) and Chris Palfreyman (23) then settled into a free-scoring stand of 61 and Rutland looked favourites. The rain, however, came and the game was abandoned with the sides taking 10 and 11 points respectively.

On Sunday, the 2nd XI visited Breadsall but their bowling and fielding to let them down as Breadsall reached 232 for 8 with Andy Evans (90) and Andrew Robertson (55) the main contributors.

Rutland closed on 172 for 4 with Martin Brandrick making 58 and Palfreyman an unbeaten 53, just ten runs short of a valuable extra two points.

l Only the juniors are lifting the gloom at the Rec and it is the U11s who are leading the way.

On Sunday they made it five wins out of six when they beat Nutbrook by 15 runs and should have booked their place in the Grand Final set for July 15.

Their success was built on sensible batting where they lost just two wickets to Nutbrook’s six, with Oliver Thornhill top scoring with 13.