Ilkeston Rutland’s ambition of a return to the Premier League now looks hopelessly optimistic as their batting line-up was blown away by visiting Duffield.
In truth, it could yet happen such is the unexceptional standard in Division One, but, based on Saturday’s evidence, God help Rutland if it does.
Put in to bat on a slow but blameless wicket they had, within 40 minutes, collapsed to 33-6. Gallingly, the more accomplished batsmen then watched as the tail wagged the dog with numbers nine, ten and 11 doubling the score from 67-8 to 139 all out.
So what went wrong? Maybe it was the sight of an Australian quick rushing in to bowl the first over. Ben Patterson has been a big success in his first season with Duffield, and his first legitimate delivery trapped David Smit LBW.
In his next over, his pace proved too much for Damien Jones, drafted in to the number three spot after some recent successes opening for the 2nd XI.
But it was Patterson’s opening partner, Joe Wozniecka-Wells (5 for 44) who came away with the day’s best figures.
His fourth over saw George Moulds caught at cover as he drove on the up and Luke Marriott playing on to his stumps. Rob Green was then caught, surprised by one that popped up, before Ian Banks’ stumps were smashed by Patterson.
Rutland, however, had packed their side with batting. All of their top ten had made half-centuries at this level and they still had Kevin Leatherday who had surveyed all the carnage from the non-striker’s end.
He and Darren Cundy added 30 for the seventh wicket, briefly blunting the opening combo, before Leatherday (29) inexplicably adopted a more aggressive approach and dragged one from Wozniecka-Wells to short mid-wicket.
In his next over, a leading edge from Cundy (16) gave the bowler his five-for and only then did the tail start to really wag.
Andy Flindall ended as top-scorer with 39 not out, adding 33 with Danny Bobeszko and a further 39 with Chris Trueman Jnr whose 15 was a personal best.
If the batting had been bad, the bowling began even worse. After two overs Duffield had 26, with Trueman Jnr conceding nine from his first ball after starting with wides.
Bobeszko provided an extra point taking 2 for 31, but Duffield cruised home by seven wickets with 32 overs to spare.
Rutland, who remain third in the table, must now re-group ahead of a double-fixture weekend with league games against Elvaston and Alfreton.
The 2nd XI could only manage a losing draw from their trip to Quarndon as they failed to chase down a target of 235 from 46 overs.
It looked on as David Robinson (43) thrashed the bowling around but his taste for medium-pacer Matt Wilkinson proved his undoing as he was bowled after hitting a trio of boundaries.
Opener Gary Hickinbotham kept hopes alive with 89 but as the required run-rate rose, the middle order fell to catches in the deep and Rutland ended 13 runs short on 221-7 taking 12 points to Quarndon’s 16.
After last week and the most spectacular collapse in the club’s history (ten wickets for just six runs) Rutland’s 3rd XI tinkered with their order, strangely replacing the openers who had steered them so nicely to 42 before the debacle.
The plan was an unqualified disaster with both replacements making ducks as the side chased Codnor’s 172-4.
A blistering partnership of 126 followed between Grant Robertson (74) and Lee Bradley (57) but with just 47 required from 13 overs, Robertson was bowled.
Bradley was then run out and the rest proved incapable of scoring quickly enough with Rutland ending up 11 runs short on 161-7.