WHAT a difference a day makes. After a demolition job on promotion candidates Alrewas on Saturday, Langley Mill’s first teamers put in possibly their worst performance of the season when they failed to defend a 267 total against lowly Spondon at windswept Station Road on Sunday.
Batting first, the Langley Mill openers Neil Wing and Paul Bailey put on 99 for the first wicket before Wing overbalanced and was stumped by Adam Finlay, off Dean Vickers for 57. Bailey followed one run later, bowled by Kashif Hussain for a patient 19.
Jamie Salmons and Sajendra Thimal then took the score to 142 before Salmons offered a simple caught and bowled to Vickers and departed for 15.
On 187, the Millers lost two wickets when Jay Holmes was caught by Mandeep Singh Saini for 12, and Dave Farnsworth was bowled first ball to give Vickers his 4-for. Thimal batted well for a 47 ball 77 (6 fours and 7 sixes) before he was sixth out, bowled by Hussain with the score on 222.
Alex Bacon went on the same score, run out for 5, but some lofty blows from Jeff Wharton took the score to 267 before he was run out for 29. Andrew Sibley was out for a duck, caught by Alan Hibbert, bowled Paul Cook, off the last ball of the innings as the Millers finished on 267 for 9. Skipper Andrew Bailey was undefeated on 11 at the end.
For the visitors, Vickers was the pick with 4 for 41, while Hussain was expensive, his two wickets coming at a cost of 71. Cook was the other wicket taker, his solitary wicket costing him 58 runs.
With the threat of relegation looming over them, Spondon started cautiously losing Adam Finlay, caught by Farnsworth off Grant Ball for 12 and Nick Rigg, caught by Bacon off Wharton for 34 to take the visitors to 62 for 2 after 18 overs.
Graham Rigg and Alan Hibbert kept up the steady pace until Rigg was caught behind for 63 giving Ball his second. Hibbert went on 150, out to a spectacular catch by Salmons, off the bowling of Andrew Bailey for 31.
Salmons had to run back fully 20 yards before taking the catch over his shoulder.
Saini hit a rapid 22 before Holmes bowled him with the score on 196, but Vickers and Rob Mountney took the visitors to their target with five wickets and two overs left.
Vickers hit a season top score of 68 off only 44 balls, his match winning knock included 8 fours and 4 sixes. Mountney was undefeated on 16 at the end.
The Millers bowling was shocking with Ball being the best of a bad bunch with 2 for 65. Holmes returned 1 for 42 from his 12, while Wharton’s ten overs saw him go for 83 runs for his solitary wicket.
Bailey took the other wicket at a cost of 21 runs from his two overs.
Definitely a day to forget for Millers supporters, although there is now a 26 point gap back to third placed Holmewood as the Millers’ promotion push took a jolt, but remained on track.