Ruthless tabletoppers Farnsfield tightened their grip on the race for the Bassetlaw League’s Championship by showing no mercy on hapless bottom team Whitwell.
Farnsfield eased to a nine-wicket victory, making it seven wins from ten games so far this season, and stretching their lead in first place to 19 points.
Not for the first time, the reliable Dave Loveridge underpinned their success with a return of 5-23 from 12 admirable overs. He was backed up by Callum McKenzie (2-36), Joe Worrall and Ian O’Brien, who also took key wickets, as Whitwell were rolled out for just 103 after being put into bat.
The only home batsman to offer any defiance was skipper Andrew Shaw, who finished unbeaten on 41 after going in at number four. Shaw then opened the bowling when Farnsfield replied -- but to no avail as the visitors sailed to their modest target in just 14 overs. Matt Sisson was the only man to fall -- after firing 62 (one six and ten fours) in a first-wicket stand of 101 with captain Curtis Mitchell (36no).
The day got even better for Farnsfield when they learned of a shock second defeat of the season for their closest title rivals, Papplewick and Linby, who fell by two wickets in a last-over thriller at home to Glapwell Colliery.
Put in, Papplewick failed to build on a solid start provided by James Taylor (46) and skipper Sam Ogrizovic (34), sliding from 94-3 to finish on 166-9 at the end of their allotted 50 overs. The bowler to pose them most problems was Sri Lankan Rasika Wijesinghe, who took 5-48 in 15 overs.
Glapwell’s reply rarely looked like being successful as they slumped to 105-8 against the bowling of Simon Roberts (4-68) and Charlie Blatherwick (2-40). But they somehow pulled the match out of the fire courtesy of an unbroken eighth-wicket partnership of 63 between skipper Matt Page (40no) and fellow tailender Billy Davies (23no), who got the hosts home with two balls to spare.
Papplewick have now surrendered second spot to Clipstone Welfare after they earned maximum points from a four-wicket win at home to North Wheatley with Leverton, who paid the price for a sub-par total of only 157. Although Nick Cleaver made 57, Clipstone’s bowlers, led by Amory Holder (4-44), were always on top before solid contributions with the bat by David Willcock (38) and Louis Sprigg (38no) eased them over the line.
The match between Anston and Thoresby Colliery was rained off without a ball being bowled. But the big Bassetlaw derby went ahead, and ended with a fine 50-run win for Retford at home to struggling Worksop. Sarvesh Kotian was just one shy of a half-century as the hosts posted a total of 175-9, despite three wickets for Ian Tingle, before Worksop collapsed to 125 all out, despite 48 from Luke Ambrose. Most of the Retford wickets were shared by Khurram Irshad (4-29) and Usman Afzaal (3-38).
The final fixture of the Championship resulted in a six-wicket success for Notts and Arnold and Amateurs at Edwinstowe, whose total of 162-9 was overhauled by Amateurs’ winning reply, spearheaded by Dilhan Cooray (51) and Craig Harrison (40).