JOINT second-placed sides West Hallam and Marehay clashed at Cock Orchard on Saturday.
White Rose skipper Thomas Lockhart lost the toss and his side was put into bat, and they could not have got off to a better start with opener Steve Rayton, who has found runs hard to come by in recent weeks, racing to 50 and other opener Matt Tatler not far behind.
When Rayton fell for 77, Angad Singh made his way to the crease and wasted no time in keeping the run rate going with a mixture of finely placed tip and runs and elegant drives to the boundary.
Tatler then fell agonisingly close to recording his and Hallam’s first century of the season for 95.
Captain Lockhart fell cheaply and this brought Martyn Bostock to the crease to join Singh who had settled in and soon reached his 50, while at the other end Bostock plundered the Marehay attack hitting some towering sixes.
The innings ended with Hallam scoring a season best 289-3 with Singh (55*) and Bostock (35*).
Marehay needed to get out of the blocks quickly and the Hallam attack that had been so deadly in previous weeks did all the work for them with a myriad of wides and no balls.
Lockhart made early changes, withdrawing both openers and introducing himself and Mark Hill into the attack.
Hill claimed the wicket of opener Pykett (48) who had looked in good form, crashing the ball to all parts.
When Lockhart and Hill pegged back the run rate the Marehay batsmen had looked to settle for a losing draw and the game turned into Marehay aiming to boost their points tally by getting within 50 of the Hallam total.
When Barrow was introduced into the attack luck was not on his side as two catches were put down, but despite this Barrow persevered and bowled well to keep the run rate at a minimum.
Kristian Tingle claimed two wickets late on, and along with Hill’s two wickets and a run out Marehay closed their innings on 235-5.
Despite many good innings on the day the stand out was from Marehay opener Kerry who scored a fine 111 being run out on the final ball of the innings.
The seconds travelled to Allestree hoping to repeat the crushing victory the first team had gained there a week earlier.
Hallam batted first and the batsmen completely dominated the first innings.
Thomas Fletcher raced off finding the boundary regularly on his way to 84 whereas Jack Potter took a calm and measured approach carefully playing his way to 37 before being the first wicket down with the score on 129.
Charlie Boyles was in fine form as other batsmen came and went, hammering his way to an unbeaten 75 as Hallam ended on 257-5.
Hallam’s bowlers were in no mood to watch the opposition batsmen play their game and dismissed them for just 101 to record a maximum point victory by a 156-run margin.
Roberto Lathbury and James West took three wickets each, Robert Goulding two and Anthony Henshaw the other.
Table-topping Calow destroyed the thirds at Beech Lane despite Luke Thompson taking 6 for 36 as the visitors were all out for 115.
But Thompson’s figures were bettered by Thomas Mainprize who bowled superbly on his way to taking six wickets for just 16 runs, Hallam bundled out for just 44 as Calow stormed to victory.