Kimberley Institute are back in the thick of NPL title race
Kimberley Institute are back in the Nottinghamshire Premier League title race after two wins in as many days last weekend.
Kimberley are fifth but have two games in hand on leaders Cuckney and only trail them by 12 points with a maximum of eight points on offer for a win.
Cavaliers & Carrington also have two games in hand and are four ahead of Kimberley, but the two sides meet each other in a crunch clash on August Bank Holiday Monday.
An eight wicket home win over Plumtree on Saturday set up Kimberley nicely for Sunday when, despite losing key players overnight, they beat then leaders Radcliffe-on-Trent by five wickets.
Captain George Bacon said: “It was a really good weekend. “We are now back in the thick of it and have given ourselves another chance.”
Plumtree chose to bat and made 216-7, Quindeel Haider with 59, James Ayres with 32 and Benjamin Compton with 30.
Kimberley raced to 218-2 in 41 overs, Sam Wood with a fine 93 and George Scottorn (61 not out) and Jack Nightingale (26 not out) making a match-winning third wicket stand of 80.
“On Saturday Plumtree had a good side out and have been doing well recently. We knew it would be tough but we did brilliantly,” said Bacon.
“We bowled with discipline, got the important wickets and then knocked it off really convincingly.
“Sam Wood played brilliantly at the top and was super-aggressive. And killed the game.
“Also, George Scottorn got promoted up to number three and made a composed 61 not out, which was very satisfying.”
In a rain-affected home clash with Radcliffe the visitors made 187 all out, Rob Sutton with 54 and Jacob Deavin-Baker with 43, Martin Weightman claiming 3-38 and Scottorn 3-27.
Depleted Kimberley were given a revised target of 178 in 48 overs after the rain and, after being 83-4, made it in 46.2 overs, Dominic Brown with 71 and Bacon with 45 not out, the pair putting on 90 for the fifth wicket.
“Sunday didn't start great,” said Bacon.
“Overnight Sam Wood unfortunately tested positive for Covid and had to drop out. Then I got a text at 6am from Matt Wright to say his kids were really unwell.
“So we had to bring Martin Weightman back in, who has a broken hand, which wasn't ideal, and a lad called Jordan Lee in who used to play for the third team.
“We also didn't have wicketkeeper Matty Taylor, so Alex Aldred stepped in who is a very good wicketkeeper/batsman.
“There were a hell of a lot of phone calls Sunday morning. But again we did brilliantly, bowling with great discipline.
“We decided we wanted to bowl first as we wanted to give ourselves the best chance of all eight points as six would not help us at the moment. And we executed the plan really well.
“We did lose some early wickets before Dominic Brown played a great innings, super-composed, and In stuck with him and got a good not out.”This Saturday Kimberley travel to Caythorpe.
“They have been struggling a little bit but did have a good result on Sunday. So they won't just lie down,” said Bacon.
“They are fighting to stay up so they have something to play for and we won't take it lightly. It will be a challenge.”
On Sunday Kimberley go to Cuckney in the semi-final of the Derbyshire Premier Cup with Papplewick awaiting in what will be an all-Notts final with 12 Derbyshire teams joined by four from the NPL each year.