LANGLEY Mill’s first team travelled to Brailsford & Ednaston on Saturday for a Division 3 game against a side on equal points in second place with the Millers at the start of play.
A disappointing batting performance saw Langley Mill clinging on to avoid defeat and slipping to fourth in the table.
Andrew Bailey won the toss for the Millers and put the hosts in on a cloudy afternoon.
The decision looked to have been a good one when Grant Ball had skipper Matt Dowling out leg before for 13 with only 24 on the board.
Fellow opener Andy Randall went on 67 when he was caught by Jamie Salmons, off Dave Farnsworth, for 16.
Nick Birds added a quick 47 before he was the next batsman back in the pavilion, bowled by Jeff Wharton with the scoreboard showing 98. Duncan Player went on 121, caught by Farnsworth, also off Wharton, for 14 which brought together Tom Gadsby and Stewart Edge who batted the hosts back into the game.
Gadsby hit 53, including three mighty sixes, before he was bowled by Farnsworth, followed shortly after by Edge who was bowled by Jay Holmes, his 52 including 8 fours and a six.
At 216, Brailsford lost their seventh wicket when Farnsworth caught Daniel Bould for a single to give Holmes his second and Farnsworth grabbed his second, bowling Stephen Briggs, also for a single.
Brailsford lost their ninth, and final, wicket off the last ball of the game when Holmes ran out Graham Cope for 4, leaving James Dakin undefeated on 9, the hosts total of 229 for 9 being a very gettable target for a team pressing for promotion.
For the Millers, Farnsworth returned 3 for 53, Holmes 2 for 26 and Wharton 2 for 55. Ball’s wicket cost him 32 runs.
Any hopes the Millers had of winning the game, and gaining a clear second placing in the league, were dashed when Nicks tore through the upper order. No heroics this week for Salmons who was caught by Gadsby without troubling the scorers and Nicks cleaned bowled Sajendra Thimal for 8 and trapped Holmes leg before for three. Paul Bailey was also leg before, this time to Player, and the Millers were on the ropes at 28 for 4.
The Millers lost Alex Bacon, caught by Bould off Gadsby for 16 with the score on 64 before Andrew Bailey and Andy Sibley took the Millers into three figures.
Bailey was next to go, caught by Player off Briggs for a top scoring 34 and Sibley was caught and bowled by Birds for 17 to leave the visitors on 114 for 7.
With ten overs to go, Brailsford looked odds on to record a victory, but the Millers tail put up a defiant fight, despite losing Farnsworth, caught by Briggs for 7 to give Birds his second.
Wharton batted well for an undefeated 30 and when Grant Ball was bowled by Player for 9, father Andrew was left to bat out the final five overs finishing on 8 not out and secure the losing draw.
For Brailsford, Nicks was the pick with 3 for 28. Birds returned figures of 2 for 38 and Player 2 for 48. Gadsby and Briggs picked up a wicket each.
This result leaves the Millers in fourth spot on 220 points, 35 behind leaders Ockbrook & Borrowash, but with a game in hand. Brailsford keep the second spot, nine clear of Langley Mill and Holmewood sneak back into contention in third place, two points clear of the Millers.