by Jim Sumner
SHIPLEY Hall came within a whisker of taking maximum points at home to Belper Meadows on Saturday but ultimately had to settle for a winning draw.
In a fine batting display, stalwarts Mark Starr and Stef Gamble put on 125 for the first wicket, both deservedly gaining half centuries, giving Shipley the ideal start to acquire a large score.
As the run chase continued, the hosts lost a few wickets but Danny Hanson (18), Ricky Csomor (13), Thomas Starr and Terry Gainey all made useful contributions and Shipley reached 211-8 in their 46 overs, thereby gaining maximum batting points.
The best Belper bowler was Adrian Marsh who took four wickets for 63 in his 11-over spell.
When it came to Shipley’s turn to field, the bowlers soon showed they were not to be outdone by what their batsmen had achieved.
They bowled accurately, took their catches well and were well supported by some good ground fielding.
Hanson (3 for 34), Danny Haddon (3 for 33) and skipper Ryan North (3 for 43) shared nine wickets between them.
Marsh hit a sound 48 for Belper but wickets began to tumble as the Shipley bowlers tightened their grip and it looked as if Shipley were going to succeed in getting the full 27 points.
However, a stubborn innings by Dave Nightingale of 24 not out thwarted Shipley’s attempts to take the vital final wicket and the match finished with Belper on 138 for 9.
Credit goes to Shipley for the determined effort to gain maximum points but also to Marsh who took four wickets for his team and also hit 48 vital runs, aided by Nightingale’s battling display.
Shipley gained 19 points to Belper’s nine.