Travelling away to face Cuckney, Kimberley Institute were hoping to end their dismal run of form and return to winning ways but instead they suffered an eight-wicket defeat which condemned them to a fifth straight loss.
Winning the toss, Kimberley skipper Sam Ogrizovic opted to bat first and although Jon Terry (12) fell early to Richard Stroh (1-17) at 52-1 going into the 12th over it was a fairly good start.
Paldip Sidhu (18) and Ogrizovic (24) himself added 35 runs; this was however to prove to be the highest stand of the innings.
With Sidhu edging Luke Wood (1-15) to slip Akhil Patel (30) joined his captain at the crease and immediately looked to dominate the bowling.
The score advanced to 78-2 at which point a batting collapse ensued as Cuckney’s spinners Tom Ullyott (2-41) and Ian Parkin (3-28) took advantage of some poor shot selection and got amongst the wickets.
Ogrizovic was trapped lbw, Alex Robinson lobbed a tame catch to square leg, Carl Blake was bowled and when Patel lofted a full-toss back to Parkin Kimberley were 94-6 in the 22nd over.
Dominic Wheatley (25) and James Mann (12) rallied and added 27 before Ullyott snared the latter caught behind and when Matt Wright was run-out backing up too far Kimberley were 122-8.
Wheatley and Richard Adams (4*) added 16 to take the score to 138 in the 37th over and then the innings was all over in two balls as Wheatley’s battling effort was ended by Dan Brown (2-9) who then trapped Chris Glover lbw next ball to leave Kimberley all out and the home team requiring just 139 to win off 63 overs.
Kimberley got the boost of an early wicket in reply as Wright (1-20) had Lucas Carlisle (8) dismissed lbw in the third over with the score at 11, but Brown (50*) and Will Butler (39) got their heads down and batted Kimberley out of the game.
Although it was slow going at times neither looked like getting out as they added 78 runs to take Cuckney to 89 in the 28th over before Patel ran Butler out with a direct hit.
Ullyott (36*) joined the resolute Brown and they added the remaining 50 runs together looking relatively untroubled in the process and taking the home team to victory in the 41st over.
This latest defeat means Kimberley now slip to seventh in the table with a visit from eighth-placed Wollaton to come this weekend.
The 2nd XI did manage to end their winless run at home to lowly Wilsons as they crushed them by nine wickets, and in doing so reignited their promotion hopes.
Bowling first, Kimberley made steady inroads into the Wilsons batting line-up, reducing them to 39-3 and then 121-9 before some late hitting from top-scorer Nadeem Ali (34) got them up to 158 before he was run-out by Anuj Dal in the 47th over.
The wickets were shared about by the bowling attack with Ian Wright (2-18), Prab Sidhu (2-23), Martyn Stackhouse (2-34) and Paul Blatherwick (2-40) all chipping in and a James Griffiths run-out accounting for the remaining wicket.
Kimberley only needed 26 overs in reply to chase down their victory target with Andy Platts leading the assault with a blistering 85 off just 69 balls, which contained 12 fours and two sixes.
Able support came from the other end with young Dal compiling an impressive 56 not out (78 balls and seven fours) as the opening pair added 148 for the first wicket before Platts lost his stumps with victory in sight.
With Dominic Brown making sure no more wickets fell Dal hit the winning runs to hand Kimberley all 20 points.
The 3rd XI suffered defeat away to Bingham by the slim margin of just 15 runs.
The home side batted first and compiled 222-8 from their 45 overs with openers Tom (46) and Michael (73) Spencer adding 86 for the first wicket.
From the fall of the former Kimberley kept chipping away at the wickets column, but the run column also kept ticking over with Conrad Walker adding a further 48.
Charlie Walters was the star with the ball as he took 4-53 with Steve Bennett (2-26), Paul Richardson (1-30) and a Luke Tantum run out claiming the other wickets to fall.
Kimberley got off to a solid start in reply with Paul Rockley (24) and Tim Wheatley (21) taking the score to 49 before both fell within balls of one another.
Bennett (78) and Ashley Britten (22) repaired the damage before the latter fell with the score on 108.
With Bennett still there Kimberley had a chance even with the loss of two more wickets leaving them 155-5.
Conner Richardson (23) helped Bennett add a further 46 which took Kimberley to 201-5, but disaster struck as they too were both out in quick succession.
A further wicket on the same score left Kimberley’s victory hopes in tatters, but they held on for a creditable losing draw.
The fourths entertained Breaston knowing that a loss would mean any chance of promotion falling away.
After being asked to bat, the pinch hitting of Paul Newton (25) along with the composure of 13-year-old Alex Aldred paid early dividends as 51 was added for the first wicket in the tenth over.
The Breaston seamers bowled tightly but captain Paul Taylor added 55 for the second wicket with Aldred, who scored a classy 39 before departing with the score at 106.
Enter another 13-year-old, Jack Blatherwick, who ended 44 not out off 62 balls, having compiled a 79-run partnership with Taylor (61 off 84 balls) and pushed the innings to a very healthy 219-4 off 45 overs.
Breaston made a positive chase but wickets fell at regular intervals, with Dan Huskinson claiming 3-20 and Paul Newton 4-31.
Tom Boyden returned to claim two important late wickets, both clean bowled, and the final wicket was a direct hit run out from Aldred, leaving Breaston 29 runs short.
Two wins in the last two matches will secure promotion.