MISFORTUNE has visited Ilkeston Rutland’s 1st XI a number of times already this season and on Saturday she virtually took up residence.
When you are bottom of the league with your main change bowler injured, the last thing you need is to lose the toss to A&B on the hottest afternoon of the year and on the sort of sound, batting wicket that their relentless run-getters adore.
A&B’s lack of bowling fire-power rules them out of a title challenge but in former Derbyshire players Steve Stubbings and Hassan Adnan they possess two of the Premier League’s finest.
It took only 45 minutes for them to be brought together - Rutland’s opening bowlers Rob Green and James Lockhart claiming a wicket apiece, including Chris McIlrory for 21.
Once united, Stubbings and Adnan booked in for bed and breakfast. For the next two hours they milked Ilkeston’s weakened attack in a 213-run partnership, taking their side to 271 in the 48th over.
Stubbings, who hit 12 boundaries and a six, finally tickled Lockhart through to stand-in keeper Luke Marriott, for 119.
Adnan continued to plunder, destroying Green’s previously respectable figures with some late hitting and helping himself to an unbeaten 120 including 14 boundaries.
Chasing 297 for 3, Rutland needed a flying start from David Smit, some application from the rest and the little things to go their way. None of it really happened.
Danny Shelton, opening with Smit in place of the unavailable Alex Park, hit two boundaries in his first four deliveries but then got a leading edge in the innings’ second over.
Five minutes later, Smit was stunned to be given out lbw for 9, the first of four such dismissals which focussed some unwanted attention on the umpiring situation in the game.
Very unusually, one of the officials had failed to appear, meaning his colleague had stress heaped upon him, having to umpire at both ends with players filling in the role of square leg umpire. Most unsatisfactory.
Of the batsmen, only Tom Brandrick stayed for any length of time. He lasted an hour and a half for his 23 and watched on as six team-mates came and went.
A&B wrapped up their 27 points with ten overs to spare – Rutland all out for 123.
l Earlier in the week, Rutland’s 1st XI’s last hope of silverware disappeared at Denby with defeat to Spondon in the semi-final of the 20:20 Jackson Cup.
Electing to bat first, Spondon got a lively start from Ben and Joe Ashdown who put on 43 before Smit trapped Ben lbw for 22 in the sixth over.
Rutland’s bowlers did not allow Spondon to rack up a daunting target and the best figures came from youngsters Danny Bobeszko (0-22) and Aidan Smith (2-25).
Requiring 145 for a place in the final, Rutland’s start was sluggish. After ten overs they had only 44 runs compared to Spondon’s 68 and needed an unlikely 102 from the second 10.
The best batting of the match then came from Luke Marriott (35 from 26 balls) and Andy Flindall (17 from 11) and their 54-run partnership, which featured three sixes, kept a flicker of hope alive.
Both perished trying to clear the boundary rope leaving Spondon the victors by 21 runs.
Rutland’s 2nd XI lost out in a close finish at Darley Dale.
Put in to bat, Rutland were in strife at 43 for 4 but a 118-run stand between Ross Slater (49) and Richard Kelleher (61) stabilised matters.
Chasing 185 to win, Darley were also rescued by a century stand for the fifth wicket after slumping to 38 for 4.
They eventually won by two wickets with Rutland unable to capitalise on the early breakthroughs by pace men Chris Trueman and Chris Palfreyman.
The 3rd XI suffered humiliation at Gallows.
Of the scheduled 92 overs, only 24 were required as Rutland crashed to 45 all out and Riddings knocked them off in 20 minutes.
The most exciting game of the week came last Tuesday night when the unbeaten U15s took on title contenders Ockbrook.
Rutland were in real trouble at 43 for 4 when Vic Pilbeam (42) and Matthew Parry (15) put on a crucial unbeaten stand of 46 to give the bowlers something to defend.
Ockbrook expected to get the 90 they required for victory but some disciplined bowling from Alex Watson (3 for 11) and Adam Slater (2 for 10) kept them under real pressure and they could only manage 78 for 7 giving Rutland a 12 run win.
The U13s were comfortably beaten by Awsworth. Bowled out for 54, Rutland were then given a lesson in playing straight by Awsworth’s Alex Aldred (19 not out) and Jack Bradshaw (13 not out).
The only champagne moment for Rutland was a stunning caught and bold by Leon Kenny who bravely clung onto a full-blooded drive for one of the team’s two wickets.