There was good news and bad news for Ilkeston Rutland’s 1st XI when they visited Ticknall on Saturday and the good news came first.
Sunshine, warmth, a toss won and the Derbyshire Premier League’s very own run machine GONE!
Paul Borrington may have amassed 1,323 runs this year, including eight centuries, but only 25 of them have come against Rutland where he is regarded as Rob Green’s bunny.
The captain had him again – smartly caught behind by Alex Park for only 15.
But that sweet feeling soon gave way to a horrible, bitter after-taste as the other opener Luke Harvey and number three Zain Abbas launched a terrible revenge for the loss of their strongman.
For that one moment of pleasure, Rutland were sentenced to two-and-a-half hours of hard toil beneath the blazing sun.
Harvey (152 not out) and Abbas (130) put on 267 for the second wicket, sending the ball to all parts of the parish and taking the score to 299 before Abbas snicked off to James Lockhart.
Next ball, teenager Eddie Ikin, who’d spent all afternoon awaiting his moment, was given LBW and stormed off the pitch in a proper strop.
The last time Rutland needed to chase something like 320, they got within a run of victory thanks to David Smit’s 191 and they needed something of the same vintage to make this an interesting contest.
Instead they uncorked the bottle labelled Ol’ Umpire’s Finger – a nasty concoction liable to make one feel deeply aggrieved.
With all the public inquiries going on in Britain today, it’s probably not worth asking for one into why David Smit keeps being given LBW.
But of the nine occasions this year that he has failed to make at least 85, he has been LBW eight times.
At least he wasn’t alone. In the space of 42 minutes, all of Rutland’s top four were LBW.
The only answer was rage and Green provided it. He put himself up to number five and set about Ticknall’s attack like a mad axe man.
He was too angry to run but he did hit 14 boundaries and a six in 31 balls before Ikin bowled him for 64.
The rest came and went and it only took 31 overs for Ticknall to win by 167 runs and claim the 27 points that lift the newly-promoted club to third place in the table.
Rutland’s condition remains critical.
Rutland’s 2nd XI batting line-up has looked quite assured in recent weeks but the visit of West Hallam to the Rec changed all that.
Their bespectacled overseas professional Angad Singh may look more like a bank clerk than a fiery fast bowler but he has helped turn West Hallam into realistic contenders for the Division 4 North title.
His first ball on Saturday swung in alarmingly and trapped James Brandrick LBW. It looked a little high but there was no argument with his second delivery that cut in to bowl Matt Wakefield through the gate.
Within half-an-hour, Rutland were 10 for 5 and the optimists were talking about 30 being a possible total.
Pride was restored by Chris Palfreyman (38) and 14-year-old Jakob Hill, making his debut for the 2nds, who made batting look possible again.
They put on 63 for the sixth wicket before Hill succumbed for 25. To reach 119 required a 30-run partnership for the tenth wicket between Chris Trueman Jnr (13 not out) and another junior debutant, Vic Pilbeam, who made a plucky 10 from 55 balls.
The target proved straight-forward for West Hallam who lost five wickets along the way, three of them to Palfreyman.
The less said about the 3rd XI’s trip to Holmewood the better.
They came up against Mark Varley whose slinging style of bowling has troubled batsmen in far higher divisions than Eight North.
He claimed 6 for 24 and Rutland, all out for 69, were soon back at the Rec.
So far this season, the only thing separating Rutland supporters from the Happy Pill cabinet have been the U17 and U15 Junior sides.
They ended their season in style with the Under 15s making it a perfect ten wins out of ten and securing the Erewash league title by easing to victory against Risley.
Jakob Hill, Adam Slater and Max Sugarman all hit unbeaten fifties as they racked up 199 for 1 from just 18 overs – a score that Risley were never going to match.
The Under 17s, who are joint league champions, replayed their washed out fixture against Breadsall on Monday night and won impressively.
Batting first, Rutland made 173 for 2 from their 20 overs. Aidan Smith made a patient, unbeaten 49 but Adam Slater stole the show hitting the final five balls of the innings for 20 runs to bring up his 50 from the final delivery.
Breadsall batted aggressively but could only reach 144 for 6.
There have been mixed fortunes for the Under 13s. They made it two wins in a row with a six wicket victory over Spondon.
Chasing 78 to win, Abi Hall pushed her Under 13 average to 120 with another unbeaten 26 and Charlie Shetliffe hit the winning runs in his 24.
Last Sunday they lost by 21 runs to Nutbrook. Jake Pearce was the pick of the bowlers with 2 for 6 and Matt Parry was back to his better form making 38 including seven boundaries.