Eastwood Town Cricket Club kept their mid-season momentum going with a vital victory in a close game against Collingham.
Collingham batted first and David Pipes provided early impetus in their innings with a quick 35 before he was caught by Eastwood skipper Neil Gregory off the bowling of James Longden.
James Hindson was batting in a far more cautious manner which put more pressure on Collingham’s middle order, and although Ben Hazeldine and Jonathon Todd scored run a ball 30s, the run rate never rose significantly enough to alarm Eastwood.
Hindson eventually departed for 27, before the lower order threw the bat in the final few overs, but a steady stream of wickets halted their progress and Collingham finished their innings 208 for 8.
Eastwood opened with Mark Smith and Jason Wooliscroft, a ploy that proved slightly unsuccessful with Wooliscroft scoring 10 and Smith 17 before they both were adjudged lbw to Karl Tew early on.
Adam Leigh chipped in with 25, Neil Gregory 19 and Adam Smith 18 as Eastwood’s top five all made contributions, yet the team was struggling at 106 for 5 with just 15 overs left and still requiring just over 100 runs.
For the second game in succession Gordon Pearson played a vital role, hitting 43 in 42 balls.
After Pearson’s dismissal Eastwood still needed 40 from five overs, and it was thanks to an explosive few balls from Steven Leese, who finished unbeaten on 41, that secured Eastwood’s second victory of the 2011 season.
The second XI brushed aside bottom-of-the-table Epperstone with relative ease.
Will Burgess did his best to limit Eastwood’s batsmen, claiming six wickets for 52, but 31 from the hard hitting Mark Stocks and 28 runs from Ashley Noble helped Eastwood post a competitive total of 145.
Hitesh Godhaniya then ripped apart Epperstone’s woeful batting line up, claiming four wickets for just 18.
Dave Summers helped the procession along, picking up 3 for 22. Epperstone’s number nine David Taylor top scored with 15, helping his team to 85 before the innings closed.
Eastwood’s thirds lost their proud unbeaten run to a talented young Gedling Colliery side by 54 runs.
Gedling batted first and after a slow start the middle order opened up, with Sam Brown, Chris Jennings and Jack Courteney all contributing 30s as posted 194 for 8.
Ben Grainger picked up fourwickets in the final few overs for Eastwood.
Eastwood’s batsmen simply crumbled in their response, with the highest score from the top six in the order being just ten.
Greg Hatherley provided some resistance with an unbeaten 32, and he combined with his brother and debutant Ste Hatherley to put on a 33 run partnership for the last wicket that added a little respectability to Eastwood’s score, and put the other Eastwood batsmen to shame as they finished all out well short on 141.