The tonic of last week’s dramatic win over Quarndon had gone decidedly flat when Ilkeston Rutland travelled to Rolls Royce on Saturday.
This should have been the game that propelled Rutland towards a top five finish, instead it handed a lifeline to all but relegated Rolls Royce who gained 27 points in thrashing the visitors by 134 runs.
The emphatic win was owed in great measure to a man-of-the-match performance from their captain Mehmoon Tariq who crashed 119 from 72 balls including eight sixes and nine fours.
The destructive century propelled his side from a solid 90 for 3 to the dizzying heights of 279 for 6 by the close of their innings.
He was helped by Kashif Hussain (44) and Waseem Mohammed (64) who shared a 138-run stand with his captain for the fifth wicket.
Rutland’s attack was shredded in the final third of the innings and crucial catches were not held - Rob Green dropping a simple chance from Tariq at cover when the centurion was on 40.
After his fireworks with the bat, Tariq took the new ball and soon had David Smit and Darren Cundy both caught behind, whileAmir Iqbal accounted for John Trueman, also caught behind, and Rutland were in tatters at 7 for 3.
Luke Marriott (45) was the pick of the batsmen but the wickets fell at regular intervals and Rutland were finally bowled out for 145 with Iqbal claiming 5 for 50 and wicket-keeper Mohammed holding five catches.
The result almost certainly condemns Rutland to a second successive finish in the lower half of Division One.
Rutland’s doomed second XI had something to cheer about on Saturday when they posted their second highest score of the season against Breadsall at the Rec.
A 50-run stand for the second wicket between David Robinson (30) and Richard Kellehar (15) appeared to have laid a foundation but it proved to be built on sand as three wickets fell for five runs and the run-rate slowed to a crawl.
That was all changed by a spectacular innings from teenager Lewis Jones. Spinner Bradley Garner had conceded only one run from his first six overs but Jones deposited him for three straight sixes.
He followed that up with more maximums against the seam of David Hughes and Alex Hodgkinson, finally being caught on the boundary for 76 from 68 balls.
He was helped by captain Bryan Smith whose unbeaten 35 was his best score of the season and Rutland closed on 196 for 8.
After Joe Bird had removed both openers, Rutland were favourites but this did not last long. An inability to bowl in consistent areas gave Breadsall’s Simon Walker (87) and Andy Robertson (73) ample opportunity to hit boundaries on a quick outfield.
This they did as they shared an unbroken stand of 164 from 20 overs to bring up an eight wicket win.
The only Rutland success of the weekend came at Gallows where the 3rd XI beat Nine North strugglers Sawley by 53 runs.
Rutland’s top order did the ground work with Kyle Madison (33) and Lee Bradley (55) adding 88 for the first wicket. Kane Knight (26) kept up the momentum to set Sawley a target of 164 to win.
This never looked likely as Ainsley Hallam (2 for 36) and Danny Law (5 for 29) ripped through their fragile batting to bowl them all out for 110.