West Hallam White Rose secured back-to-back league titles as they crushed Clay Cross to gain the points needed to ensure they were title winners with two games remaining.
In April 2011 the goal was simply to avoid relegation from Division Four North, but two years later they are now celebrating not only promotion to Division Two but also winning the Bayley Cup and Butterley Cup, with seven of the 11 players on Saturday having come through the club’s youth set up.
The home side found themselves batting first on a flat hard track on Saturday.
Thomas Brandrick hit the first ball of the day for four and the runs kept flowing from then on.
There may have been some questionable fielding but one thing that wasn’t questionable was the quality of batting on display.
When Tim Hampton-Matehe (28) was run out his partner Brandrick had already reached his hundred and was unbeaten on 139.
The second wicket fell with the score on 215 and it was Brandrick who was out for a simply breathtaking 166 from just 95 balls, smashing 17 fours and 11 sixes.
The Clay Cross bowlers breathed an audible sound of relief as Brandrick left the field but they hadn’t counted on Matt Tatler taking over where Brandrick left off as he also reached his hundred finishing unbeaten on 105 from just 65 balls, including 17 fours and two sixes. The total was helped along by James Lockhart (42 from 29 balls) and Carl Cruz (28* off ten balls).
At tea Hallam had amassed a mammoth 394 for 6 from their 46 overs, prompting discussion between the ex-players as to whether this was a club record.
Needing over 8.5 per over the Clay Cross batsmen didn’t waste any time in finding the boundaries but some reckless batting meant Hallam’s bowlers were able to bowl them out for 102 in just 21.2 overs.
Peter Hort was the pick taking 5 for 49, James Lockhart (3-19), Cruz (1-15) and Harry Porter took his first ever first team wicket finishing with 1 for 16.
Hallam’s second team travelled to Belper Amateurs knowing a win was needed to keep their promotion hopes alive and with Belper sitting in second it was never going to be easy.
Hallam found themselves batting first and scored a highly competitive 192 for 5 from their 46 overs.
Steve Rayton again was the pick of the batsmen scoring 55. Charlie Boyles (32), Tom Lockhart (37) and Josh Bostock (28) all contributed to the total.
Hallam set about the task of bowling Belper out as Belper set about their task of not losing.
Belper came out on top as they managed to hold out for a losing draw, closing the innings on 140 for 7.
Rob Lathbury was the pick of the Hallam bowlers taking 3 for 30 with two wickets apiece for Tingle and Tom Lockhart.
Chasing promotion the third team also knew a win was required to keep their promotion hopes alive.
Batting first Hallam scored 175 for 6 with Hubbard (54), Johnson (31) and North (20) all making notable contributions.
Hallam’s bowlers toiled hard in search of ten wickets but could only manage to find nine as Mickleover held on for a losing draw, finishing on 123 for 9.
Harry Page took 5 for 15, Thompson 2 for 31 and North 2 for 31 for Hallam as they jumped to third, 13 points away from promotion with just two games left to play.
Shipley Hall’s batsmen were in poor form on Saturday, with the exception of Mark Starr, who made a patient and brave 45 against Trentside who won the toss and put Shipley in to bat first.
It proved to be a good ploy as the Shipley batsmen failed to show any resistance and easily succumbed to the nagging and steady bowling of the Trentside attack.
Only Mark Starr, the Shipley captain, was able to blunt their efforts and he doggedly made his way to a well-earned 45.
Ryan Buckley (10) and Neil Parkin (12) were able to reach double figures, the only other batsmen to do so but a ‘gift’ of 18 extras helped Shipley to reach the meagre total of 110.
All the Trentside bowlers did well with Hancox taking 3-23, Brown 2-35, Hughes 2-25, Ayling 2-11 and Swati 1-10 and their team fancied their chances of a comfortable win as the game progressed - and so it proved.
A fine innings of 56 by T Jones before he was forced to retire hurt set the scene for an easy victory.
Trentside eventually won with a total of 113-3.
Matt Murfin took 2-46 and Tom Starr 1-12 but Trentside took 22 points to dent Shipley’s slender hopes of promotion with just one final game to play.