Cricket: Darley march on in top of the table clash

Darley Dale firsts entertained fellow promotion contenders Marehay in a thrilling battle at a picturesque Station Road on Saturday.

The home side lost the toss and were asked to make first use of an impressive looking wicket.

Andy Paulett and Craig Elliott set about the task and looked assured in a 144-run opening partnership.

The stand came to an end when Paulett (66) was dubiously run out and Elliott was caught for a patient 44.

The innings was left to Jack Stone (16) and Stef Jackson (17 not out) to plunder quick fire runs and see Darley to a respectable 190-5.

Paul Carson got Darley off to the best of starts, trapping Dan Palmer leg before wicket for just two.

It wasn’t long before Carson picked up his second before he showed his athleticism in the field a short time later.

He flew through the air to cling on to a stunning catch off the bowling of Sam Lightfoot to dismiss Ady Vickerage, which effectively brought an end to Marehay’s hopes of a victory.

Simon Cotterill’s 3-26 and another wicket from Lightfoot gave Darley brief hope of claiming 27 points.

But it was left to Marehay skipper Chris Ford and Lewis Palmer to grit their teeth and stay to deny Darley maximum points.

With the home team picking up 17 and Morton picking up 27 at Swanwick, Darley’s lead at the summit of Derbyshire League Four North has been reduced to eight points.

Final card: Darley Dale (17pts) 190-5 [46 overs] (C Elliott 44, A Paulett 66, L Palmer 3-56) drew with Marehay (5pts) 111-7 [46 overs] (A Vickerage 30, S Cotterill 3-26).