Matlock and Cromford Meadows firsts put up a good fight but ultimately fell to a 29-run defeat at Denby on Saturday.
Matlock travelled to the Copper Yard with high hopes, and with some justification too, having a well balanced team with most bases covered.
Denby, champions of the 2020 half season, would provide a gu age to see if and how much MCMCC have improved, and though they lost this challenge, there is plenty to support captain Ed Lander's view that the season ahead looks bright.
Umar Zamman's 3-50 looked very positive, and with strong support from Sean Beastall and Ed Lander they held Denby to 198-8, with Bullock (42) and Askey (47) making telling contributions.
In reply, plenty of batsmen got a start, with four batsmen scoring twenty something, but no one managed that telling innings and Matlock ran out of steam in the end, losing a tough game by 29 runs.
There was better news of the thirds, as with high scores and sun beating they won a terrific game of cricket against Buxton by 31 runs.
Batting first, and with contributions from Phil Braund's clubbing 29, there were personal bests from Peter Hooper (47*) and a debutant fifty in his first league game in senior cricket from Connor Green (56), including some flourishing cover drives, in a score of 203-6. Lucas Tattersall's 3-27 reward for some accurate seam bowling.
In reply, James Boffey, who earlier had kept wicket to a high standard, must have wondered what extra he has to do to win a game, his 95 coming from shots around the wicket, but especially strong on the pull.
He, together with Dan Blackwell's 25, kept Buxton up with the rate required, but James Scully (3-36), after an indifferent first spell, returned to bowl a commendable line and length, removing Boffey, Dalton and Tattersall.
He, with support from Ian Bache's flighted mysteries (2-20), and Steve Haslam's metronomic 3-19, reduced Buxton from 146-4 to 172 all out, with just two overs to spare.
On Sunday, MCMCC’s development team lost by 59 runs at Darley Abbey, Peter Kidd taking three wickets and Phil Braund top scoring on 32.