Derby double completed for Balderton Cricket Club 1sts after beating Collingham at Dale Field
Balderton Cricket Club completed the double over their fierce South Nottinghamshire League rivals on Saturday, in a fixture that added another turn to one of the most exciting title races Division A has seen in recent times.
Collingham were fighting at the top of the league before play on what was the hottest day of the year, while Balderton were fighting to consolidate a spot in the promotion spots.
Yet, going into this weekend, just six points separates the two clubs as Collingham sit third — seven points off top — while Balderton remain fifth.
Both clubs remain in touching distance of the title, but it is a target Balderton skipper Tim Clipsham humbly said was unrealistic, despite the huge win over Collingham.
“It was a great win for us after a couple of tough losses, and for it to be against our local rivals in Collingham — it is just great,” said Clipsham.
“That is 40 points against them this year and they are our derby game. They are our local rivals so to have beaten them twice is brilliant.
“But you know, that is how it is in cricket, we have beaten them this year and I am sure in a couple of years time they could do the double over us.
“There’s now 14 points separating top to sixth and then a gap of seven points below that, and then 20-or-so points from ninth, so it is as tight as it has ever been.
“We said on Thursday at training that we needed to win four of the last seven to get into the top five, and that win on Saturday takes us down to needing three wins.
“This Saturday will be just as tough for us because we have a lot of players missing, but we are still taking it game by game and the aim is to finish in that top five.”
In the derby match, Collingham decided to bat and got off to a strong start as pro Mohammad Mohsin (36) and captain Oliver Dyson (49) helped the hosts to 113-2.
That was until Chris Dobbie got in on the action, catching the former and bowling the latter. And the end of the stand lifted Balderton as they conceded just 27 more runs before Collingham found themselves all out in the 33rd over.
Balderton skipper Clipsham said it was a pleasing afternoon.
“They put us in to bat but, because it was so hot, I thought after 50 overs of standing in the field they were going to be drained, so I would have made that decision myself,” said Clipsham.
“It helped us really because it must have drained them. But I can’t blame them for their thinking because we have failed over the last couple of weeks with the bat and they probably thought they would be able to roll us over, but it just didn’t work.
“We knew if we broke that partnership (between Mohsin and Dyson) we could then chisel away at one end, and they rely heavily on those two.
“We built a bit of pressure and once we broke them, we knew we were in for a chance.
“Scott Barnsdale (9-1-31-2) bowled brilliantly at the top.
“He had been out for a couple of weeks because of his ribs, but he came back on top form.
“Dobbie and Ryan Charlesworth both bowled brilliantly as well, and we held all of our catches too.
“I had three slip catches and about five of our catches were behind the bat.
“The wicket-keeper caught one, I had three and Ben Ryder caught one.
“That was really pleasing for me because we have been working on taking those slip catches in training, and when it works (in a game) it is brilliant.
“Every training sessions myself, Ben and Chris Morris have been working hard on it, and then to have five catches in the slip in one game was just great.”
In reply, Ryder and Charlesworth opened but failed to reach double figures in what looked to be a competitive start for Collingham.
But consistency into the middle order saw Morris (26) pro Shalith Fernando (44) Clipsham (38) Dobbie (17) and the unbeaten Ryder (56) help Balderton secure the 20 points.
“Steven Ryder reached 50 runs in what was a really crucial innings,” said Clipsham, “but everyone chipped in.”