Slipshod Ilkeston Rutland missed a golden opportunity to cement their promotion prospects when they collapsed spectacularly with the winning line in sight against Stainsby Hall.
Throughout the afternoon, Rutland held all the cards in the Derbyshire County League, First Division match -- from winning the toss and reducing the home side to 29-4 before bowling them out for 170.
Their reply then progressed to 95-4 and 134-5 before they crashed to 144 all out when losing their last five wickets for just ten runs.
Mid-table Stainsby Hall’s top order was blown away by the seam of Rob Green (6-48 in 15 overs) and the slip-catching prowess of David Smit, who held on to no fewer than five chances.
Rutland’s position might have become impregnable had they caught Mehmoon Tariq’s edged offering on nought, but that one went down and he began to lead a fightback. Working the singles in partnership with Atiq Bhatti (21), Tariq made 58 (three fours) and although Green returned to the attack to remove him, wicketkeeper Mark Greaves made a busy 28 to boost Stainsby’s total.
Rutland’s reply began with a touch of unwanted irony as Smit himself nicked one to slip and was gone for just five. But victory still looked on the cards thanks to knocks of 38 (eight fours) by Ian Banks, 31 (two sixes and three fours) by Green and 20s (four fours) by Kevin Leatherday and Daniel Shelton.
However, disaster struck after Banks and Shelton were removed in quick succession by Matthew Smyth (4-55 in 11 overs), who mopped up the tail with Richard Gregson (3-19 in 11).
In Division Six, Rutland 2nd earned maximum points with a last-over victory by three wickets against Rosehill Meths. The visitors made 220, despite four wickets each for Lewis Jones and Richard Siddons, but an opening stand of 110 between Damien Jones (76) and captain Gary Hickinbotham (48) set up the win.