Ilkeston Rutland’s first XI overcame both the weather and Stainsby Hall on Saturday to record their first victory of the season.
Of the two, it was the elements that posed the greater threat as Stainsby struggled to make much headway having been put in to bat.
Left-armer Rob Green was a model of accuracy – just two scoring shots came from his first 37 deliveries and he induced an early edge to remove opener Tim Pickup (4).
If Stainsby were going to prosper it had to be at the expense of Green’s opening partner Chris Trueman Jnr but that too proved risky.
South African import Fred Clarke hit him for successive boundaries but next ball he edged to David Smit who took the chance, having earlier grassed one off Green.
Briefly Stainsby threatened a fightback, reaching 52 for 2 in the 15th over, but their hopes were dented when opener Matt Smyth was bowled by one from Trueman that kept low.
Their most fluent batsman was Asad Bhatti but he was superbly caught by Danny Shelton at short cover off the bowling of Ian Banks, the first of four catches and a run out for Shelton.
All the while Green continued to pound in and by the time he finished his 15 over spell, he’d taken 3 for 26 and the visitors were in a proper mess at 87 for 8.
Really they should have been finished off but James Gregson (31 not out) and his brother Richard (18) played out the overs, helping the score to 143 in the 50th over.
In what was now a time game, Rutland needed to beat the light and they did that quite comfortably with Kevin Leatherday (46), Smit (36) and George Moulds (31 not out) seeing them home by seven wickets.
This weekend they have a double-header with a trip to Duffield on Saturday followed by Elvaston on the Rec on Sunday.
The 2nd XI’s trip to Rosehill Meths produced an incredible game divided into four totally contrasting quarters.
Up until drinks, Rutland were tormented by opening batsman Asad Batt who tore into their bowlers with a whirlwind 93.
He was dropped three times and caught twice – the first being one of several sixes and the second by the keeper Matt Parry to end his destruction.
At that stage Rosehill were 140 for 1 with over half their overs remaining. Fortunately for Rutland, the rest of their order made batting look a very tricky proposition.
They simply had no answer to Rutland’s Richard Siddons – except to miscue his deliveries to fielders or miss them altogether and they ended up all out for 194 in 41 overs with Siddons taking a career best 7 for 51.
Rutland then appeared to be cruising to victory. Openers Ross Slater (30) and Gary Hickinbotham put on 72 for the first wicket before David Robinson added a flashy 36 peppered with boundaries.
At 132 for 1 with 22 overs left, the game appeared to be over but then Hickinbotham mistimed one and was caught for 58 and two balls later Robinson’s wild heave gave Rosehill hope.
Once Damien Jones and Richard Kelleher had departed in quick succession the game was back in the balance with teenagers Adam Slater and Matt Parry facing a rejuvenated opposition in fading light.
With 30 required, a running mix up accounted for Parry and 10 runs later Slater was LBW for 20.
In the end Rutland closed ten runs short and nine wickets down and were thankful to Keiran York for surviving the final over to give them 13 points from a very exciting losing draw.
The 3rd XI enjoyed a trip to the beautiful setting of Clowne Town’s alternative ground in the shadow of Bolsover Castle.
And they gave themselves ample time for sightseeing after winning the toss and making just 37 runs.
To the surprise of nobody this proved to be too few and Clowne won by seven wickets with most of the afternoon to spare.