An efficient performance in the field was enough for Ilkeston Rutland’s first XI to return to winning ways on Saturday, beating struggling Ambergate by three wickets.
Having put the visitors in to bat, Rutland struck twice in the first four overs - Rob Green finding the outside edge and Ian Banks also inducing an error.
The ball, however, was finding its way to the boundary with regularity as Jonathan Heath and Muhammad Sultan, third in the list of Division One run scorers, began to rebuild.
They were cantering along at almost five an over before the introduction of John Trueman whose 15-over spell changed the game.
The wily off-spinner gave the batsmen little to hit and he dried up the run-rate so effectively that by the time his overs were bowled Ambergate’s run rate had dipped to under three.
He took four wickets for 22 runs including Heath and Sultan - both giving him return catches.
Ambergate’s ambitions were totally thwarted and a score of 151 for 8 from 50 overs was way below par.
Back in May, David Smit pummelled 178 off the same attack and once he started clipping along at a run-a-ball, their heads went down.
They got their man for 34, stumped off the bowling of Liam Wallace and wickets then began falling regularly.
Trueman made 31 and Michael Chambers 19 but by the time Damien Jones (23) was the seventh wicket to fall, Rutland still needed 17 more runs and the game was suddenly in the balance.
But David Robinson, promoted from the second XI, put paid to Ambergate’s hopes with a brace of boundaries to bring victory with seven overs to spare.
Next week the batting will be further tested by league toppers Marehay. As for Ambergate, they are now in the relegation zone.
Rutland’s second XI gave their worst performance of the season in the field at Codnor but still managed a losing draw which lifts them off the foot of Division Four North.
Codnor’s batsmen made hay on a slow, low wicket but were aided by dropped catches, poor fielding and 47 extras.
Jonathan Woolley made a quick 52 and captain Lee College whacked 82 off 71 balls with 13 boundaries and three sixes.
Chasing 300 to win, Rutland’s only hope was to survive the 46 overs and this they did comfortably after openers Ross Slater (28) and Ken Seaman (80) lasted until after the mid-way point.
Richard Kelleher (29) kept up his good form and Seaman perished at the end as he looked to notch his second century for the club.
A total of 167 for 4 represented a dull finish for the spectators but gave Rutland six points to Codnor’s 18.
Rutland’s third XI had no game as Ambergate’s third XI withdrew from Division Nine North earlier in the season.