Season best figures for Jay Horton guides Holmewood out of relegation zone

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Holmewood moved out of the relegation zone on Saturday with a two wicket victory at home over table-topping Walton-on-Trent in Division Three of the Derbyshire County Cricket League.

Holmewood’s captain Dan Moss won a vital toss and inserted the visitors, and was immediately rewarded with two wickets from the enigmatic Matt Ryalls (2 for 40 from 5 overs).

But it was Jay Horton who made the biggest impact, bowling beautifully in helpful conditions to take season best figures of 5 for 29 from 13 overs as Walton were bowled out for just 100.

Horton was backed up by excellent fielding and more sensational wicket keeping from Motlhanka as Holmewood kept the pressure on the visitors, who remain well clear at the top of the table.

Walton danger men Taylor Stevenson (21) and Ed Chapman (23) made starts and looked at ease with conditions.

Stevenson was brilliantly caught by Karabo Motlhanka standing up to the wicket to Horton’s military medium pace bowling, while Chapman drilled a quick delivery from James Taylor (1 for 24 from 4) to Jark Jarvis at cover.

A counter attacking innings from Ed Sloane threatened to take Walton’s innings past 100, but he fell for 21 to Gavin Horton (2 for 10 from 4), who wrapped up the innings three balls later by trapping Dan Russell LBW for 4.

Walton’s bowlers then showed just why they south Derbyshire side are top of the league, bowling tightly and exploiting the moving ball to take regular wickets.

Ed Chapman removed the dangerous Motlhanka fourth ball for a duck, and James Blackwell (4 wickets for 32 runs from 9 overs) tore through Holmewood’s middle order.

Jack Jarvis batted steadily for 21, but was one of two Holmewood batsmen to run themselves out as the home side seemingly gave the advantage back to Walton.

Gavin Horton batted through the chaos to score 31, the vital contribution in the circumstances, but when he fell Holmewood still needed 19 to win with just two wickets in the bank.

James Taylor (9*) and Jay Horton (12*) then showed their experience to guide the home side to their victory target, mixing studious defence with hard running and occasionally seizing on the loose ball when it came.