Fate finally sealed as loss confirms relegation

Matlock’s return to the Derbyshire Premier League ended after just one season on Saturday as defeat to Spondon confirmed relegation.

Matlock put up a good fight against their high-flying opponents, with the ball at least, but Spondon finally managed to get on top and won comfortably enough in the end.

One Matlock batsman did in fact show some quality with the bat, opener James Smith (82) almost carrying his bat and single-handedly taking the fight to the away side.

His excellent innings spanned 102 deliveries and featured a six and 13 fours and without him Matlock would have been in even further trouble.

Tom Williams (2-23) and Ben Ashdown (3-46) started the Matlock rot and only Smith kept the home side afloat.

His efforts helped recover the innings, partially anyway, from 46 for 4 to 98 for 5 but Waseem Fazal (4-44) was on hand to reduce the home side to 106 for 8.

A final flurry from the superb Smith extended the innings to a more respectable 143 but his demise was quickly followed by the final wicket, the innings ending in only the 31st over.

What appeared to be an easy target was made all the harder by Matlock’s opening pair of Peter Camm (3-40) and Ed Lander (2-30) who ripped into Spondon’s top order after the re-start and the visitors slipped to a very shaky 48 for 5.

But Joe Ashdown (37*) and Chris Windmill (60*) weathered the storm and, slowly at first, began a recovery which led to a five wicket win with no further loss.

Once into his stride Windmill cracked three sixes and six fours with victory arriving in the 36th over.

The second XI are also down despite beating Alfreton in Division Five North, having lost to Sandiacre on Saturday.

Against Sandiacre Matlock were all out for 126, Mark Burton hitting 66, but their opponents lost just six wickets in reaching the target, Paul Chadbourne taking three of them.

Matlock then faced Alfreton on Sunday and were all out for just 96, Rob Lowe with 50, but then destroyed Alfreton by bowling them out for 65 with David Lander’s superb 7-17 helping them along the way.