A six-game unbeaten league run came to a sudden end for Ilkeston Rutland first XI on Saturday when they were well beaten by relegation-threatened Stainsby Hall.
The game was a triumph for the visitors whose season has been totally overshadowed since May by the sudden death from cancer of their star all-rounder David Smyth.
He had an impressive record at the Rec and would have been delighted that his team-mates picked up where he left off.
Electing to bat first, Stainsby made steady progress, seeing off the new ball and laying a sound platform.
By the 30 over mark they were 123 for 1 and Rutland had decided that the docile wicket suited spin more than seam.
But of the bowlers only John Trueman was able to either stem the flow of runs or take wickets.
His 15-over spell brought him 4 for 49 but the rest of the attack was blunted by Stainsby captain Tom Wood who carried his bat for an unbeaten 119.
The innings allowed his side to close on 224 for 5 - a modest score by some standards but as it is over three years since Rutland chased down anything in excess of 200, it presented a challenge.
It soon assumed mountainous proportions with five wickets falling in the first 20 overs for 66 runs.
The batsmen all got starts, most hit boundaries but that was it. No-one stayed long enough to build the innings around them and were it not for 56 from Darren Cundy, batting at seven, Rutland would have been annihilated.
They were finally all out in the 41st over for 152 with the spin of Richard Gregson taking 3 for 29 and the last wicket falling appropriately to Matthew Smyth, brother of David, whose 3 for 45 represented his best return since his terrible loss.
Rutland’s second XI look totally doomed in Four North after suffering defeat to the one side they could have over-taken to save themselves.
Swanwick Hall chose to bat first and battled against some useful bowling to reach 214 for 6 from their 46 overs.
Their innings was constructed around 76 from Ollie Green. For Rutland both Lewis Jones (3 for 49) and Joe Bird beat the bat repeatedly without ever grazing the willow.
The chase began well - an opening stand of 70 between David Robinson (47) and Ross Slater (23) but once the latter gloved one to the keeper from burly change bowler Joss Crosby, the slide began.
Within half-an-hour they were five down and the only hope of victory was Richard Kelleher. He threatened but after passing 50 with his ninth boundary he miscued and was caught leaving Rutland beaten by 35 runs.
The third XI’s clash with Holmewood had all the makings of a thriller before heavy rain intervened to abandon the tie.
Rutland had restricted the visitors to 186 with Ainsley Hallam taking 4 for 29 and Kyle Madison 2 for 36.
But their reply looked a lost cause at 41 for 6 whereupon captain Jeff Dunbar started to play the innings of his lifetime.
He was 61 not out and Rutland required 53 from eight overs when the Gods decided they had seen enough and stopped Dunbar in his tracks and Rutland took 11 points to Holmewood’s 13.