Kimberley recorded their first outright league win since the end of May on Saturday as they overcame Radcliffe-on-Trent by six wickets.
The hosts were all out for just 95 as George Bacon (6 for 39) produced his best return of the season to help skittle them.
With Radcliffe having all but secured their Premier League status the week before the game had an end of season feel about it and the wicket looked like it had seen better days too, so it was something of a surprise the home side opted to bat first.
Openers Mierkalns and Carr added 19 before Ben Savage (2-29) trapped the latter lbw. It was then Bacon’s turn as he had Muzzafar caught behind by Sam Ogrizovic after a very loose drive.
With Mierkalns gifting an easy chance to Tom Rowe at point Savage had his second wicket and Bacon followed up with two more in consecutive overs as Rob Sutton bottom edged a pull shot onto his stumps and captain David Lucas had his splayed all over the place after another expansive shot; 34-5 after 14.
Bacon then claimed his fourth and fifth victims, again in consecutive overs. First he produced an agile piece of fielding off his own bowling to catch Fish and then Holliday miscued a pull shot which Dominic Wheatley held onto comfortably at mid-on to hand Bacon his well-deserved fifth wicket, and at 45-7 Radcliffe were in dire straits.
A stand of 15 between Marshall (21) and Crosse (7) took them to 60 before Bacon struck again when the latter offered another catch to Rowe and the end of the innings seemed nigh.
Marshall though clung on and with Deavin-Baker (17) add ed35 for the ninth wicket; the highest stand of the innings.
When Chris Glover (1-2) was introduced into the attack it was broken as he took a smart catch off his own bowling to see off the combative Marshall and with skipper Alex King (1-0) removing Deavin-Baker by the same means the hosts were all out for just 95.
A couple of early wickets gave Kimberley the jitters as Ogrizovic and Sam Johnson were both out to Lucas (2-33) to leave Kimberley at 16-2 after 5. Rowe (23) and Dominic Brown (16) decided attack was the best form of defence and added 34 inside seven overs before both fell to Muzzafar (2-33) to leave the score on 58-4.
Enter Bacon (22*) and King (17*) to win it with a stand of 38; Bacon cracked four boundaries to push Kimberley closer to victory and a three at the start of the 22nd over left ten needed. King obliged with a vicious cut for four which he followed up with a hefty drive over long-off for six to seal his first league win as captain.
The 20pts gained see Kimberley move above their hosts into eighth.
The 2nd XI recorded a big victory over struggling Clifton as they bowled the visitors out for 125 in reply to their 247-6.
Clifton opted to bowl first and had to wait a while for their first wicket as Alex Aldred (28) and Krutarth Dave (40) added 55 for the first wicket.
With Aldred’s fall Andy Layton (87) joined Dave and became the crux of the Kimberley innings as he featured in good stands of 41 with Dave, 65 with James Taylor (24) and 52 with James Griffiths (13) before being run-out with the score on 213-5, but Harry Ratcliffe hit a quick-fire 27 which left Kimberley in a strong position at tea.
Clifton’s reply started well with Hart (35) and Harrison (16) adding 59 for the first wicket before they both fell in the same over. With Jack Blatherwick forced to come off due to injury up stepped Aldred to turn the game in Kimberley’s favour as he bowled Harrison and saw Liam Webb run-out Hart.
From 59-2 Clifton moved to 77-2 before Ben Crouch (2-17) made it 88-4 by bowling Turner and having Gunn well caught by Dave. It moved to 111-4 before Nelson struck and victory came quickly for Kimberley as cup heroes Joe Allport (2-18) and captain Steve Bennett (4-22) routed the tail and the game was up with 13 overs to spare.
The win means Kimberley move back into fourth place; which is where they will finish in Division B no matter what happens in the return fixture next weekend.
Elsewhere, the thirds secured promotion from Division G with a low-scoring win over West Bridgford Legion.
The visitors were skittled for just 47 with Danny Williams (5-9) and Sam Beale (3-19) the destroyers, although Kimberley only sealed victory, and back-to-back promotions, with two wickets in hand.
Rich Kelley’s 4th XI narrowly missed out on another promotion in Division L where, despite beating Ellerslie, they could only finish third.
Kelley (3-23) led the way with the ball as Ellerslie were restricted to just 121-8 from their 40 overs with Paul Blatherwick (2-30) and young leg-spinner Zain Ramzan (2-24) helping out.
Alex Terry’s 30 at the top of the order helped to set the chase up with contributions from Tim Wheatley (22) and Charlie Walters (37*) who saw Kimberley home in the 27th over to win by six wickets.