Relieved Cutthorpe content with a winning draw
Relieved Cutthorpe returned home with a winning draw and 17 points from a match against fellow strugglers Lullington Park that they had targeted for a positive result in the Derbyshire County League's Premier Division.
Badly in need of a much-improved performance after the previous week’s defeat to Denby, Cutthorpe were asked to bat first in muggy, overcast weather. But they battled to a total of 198-9 from their allotted 50 overs before restricting the home side to 133-8 in reply.
An unconvincing start saw the visitors in a bit of bother at 45-3 after Nigel Kingham had been caught behind in the third over and the previous week’s batting hero, Paul Burdett, had skied one to mid-off for 12.
A partnership was required -- and it was supplied by Andy Thompson and Ed Barlow, who swung the game in Cutthorpe’s favour by putting on an excellent 57 for the fourth wicket. Thompson (45, nine fours) was the main aggressor, latching on to anything short before he was spectacularly caught and bowled by spinner George Chapman (3-64), while classy 17-year-old Barlow (40, two sixes and three fours) showed terrific maturity in constructing another fine innings that proved why he is the club’s leading run-scorer this season.
He lost another partner as Asadullah Butt fell for nought, but then shared a second important stand with Matt Cluer (32) that was worth 58. Both players fired big sixes and with Josh Savage adding 25 at the end, Cutthorpe were satisfied with a competitive score.
With the ball, the visitors got off to flier thanks to early wickets for both Butt (3-37 in 15 overs) and Savage (2-47 in 15 overs), including that of West Indian opener Shacaya Thomas for just nine.
Paul Dawson tried hard to rebuild Lullington Park’s innings, making 37 (four fours), but he became the key scalp when Butt had him caught behind in his final over to leave the hosts 83-5 -- a score that soon deteriorated to 95-7 when Liam Sadler (2-10) struck twice. The hosts had little option but to shut up shop, and Cutthorpe couldn’t find a way to bag the final wickets as Tom Hill (27no) and Richard Lewis (13no) batted out.