AFTER a couple of indifferent performances, Langley Mill’s first team put themselves right back in the promotion race with a winning draw against Holmewood at a sunny Station Road on Saturday.
A weakened Millers side got the better of promotion outsiders Holmewood to move to joint second in the league, 29 points behind leaders Ockbrook & Borrowash with a game in hand.
On an excellent batting track, Jamie Salmons lead the way with an impressive 96 before he was trapped leg before by Holmewood skipper Gavin Horton.
Along the way, Salmons lost fellow opener Jay Holmes, caught and bowled by James Taylor for 6, followed by Sajendra Thimal, bowled for 43 and Andrew Bailey, bowled for 2, both wickets falling to Steve Fisher.
Salmons fell with the score on 209, his innings containing 14 fours and a six, and six runs later, the Millers lost their fifth wicket when Paul Bailey was caught by Bradley Walker for 43, giving Fisher his third.
Andy Sibley was next to go, caught by keeper Chris Goodhand, off Jamie Horton for 8 and it was left to Paul Aldred and Alex Bacon, both drafted in from the seconds, to take the hosts to a respectable 277 for 6 at the end of their 46 overs. Bacon finished unbeaten on 24 and Aldred was also undefeated on 28.
For the visitors, Fisher had figures of 3 for 62, and there was a wicket apiece for Taylor and the Horton brothers.
Holmewood started their reply confidently, moving on to 44 before Taylor was caught by Jordan Fredrickson, off Jay Holmes’, bowling for 16. David Gray then joined opener Bradley Walker and the pair took Holmewood on to 94 before Walker edged Grant Ball to keeper Sibley to depart for 44.
One run later, Matt Ryalls was out leg before to Aldred without troubling the scorers, but Gray was joined by his skipper and the pair put on a century partnership which took Holmewood on to 195. Holmes then took a stunning catch to dismiss Horton for 56, giving Aldred a second.
Gray continued to bat well, passing fifty despite losing Michael Saville, caught by Andrew Ball off Aldred for 5, Goodhand, caught by Sibley off Andrew Bailey, also for 5, and Jamie Horton, run out for 9.
The Millers total was just out of reach of Holmewood and they settled for a losing draw, ending up 36 short of their target. Gray finished unbeaten on 76, his 106 ball knock being the mainstay of the innings.
For Langley Mill, Aldred returned figures of 3 for 59, Holmes 1 for 28, Grant Ball 1 for 53 and Andrew Bailey 1 for 49.
Langley Mill seconds kept their unbeaten league record intact with a workmanlike win at Breadsall on Saturday. A six wicket success keeps the Millers in joint top spot with Sandiacre Town, 68 points ahead of third placed Eckington.
Breadsall skipper Bradley Garner won the toss and elected to bat first on a dry track. Openers Adrian Kirkham and Jack Smith were kept in check by the economical bowling of Luke Rowley and Steve Walker who kept the hosts down to just 45 runs from the first 20 overs, Smith being the only batsman to depart, caught by Ryan Cox off Walker for 24.
On 66, Neil Toohill went, caught by Dan Lacey off Rich Davey for 14, followed on 74 by Kirkham who was caught by Davey for 34 to give Cox an eighteenth birthday present.
Breadsall then stepped on the gas as Will Oates and Tim Moseley took the hosts through three figures. The pair put on 72 for the fourth wicket before Moseley was caught by Cox off Davey for 34.
The only other wicket to fall was that of Oates who was bowled by Davey for 44 giving the Langley Mill skipper his 50th County League wicket of the season, the first player to achieve this feat in 2011.
Halley Porkess (14 not out) and Garner (11 not out) took Breadsall to 183 for 5 at the close, Davey returning figures of 3 for 56. Cox’s wicket cost him 35 and Walker’s cost 59.
Langley Mill’s reply started badly when Nick Wright was out first ball, spectacularly caught one handed in the gully by Oates, the fielder diving full length to his right. This left Neil Wing and Aaron Tullett to re-build the innings which they did in some style.
As usual, Wing raced away reaching fifty from 43 balls as the pair took the Millers to 74 before Tullett was caught by Toothill, off Alex Hodgkinson, for 15.
Dan Lacey joined Wing and the two almost put the game to bed when they took the score on to 129 at the half way stage. At this point, Wing lobbed a ball from Garner straight into the hands of Will Braisby to depart for 80 to give the home supporters some hope.
Lacey soon dismissed any chance of a home victory hitting 51 before he was caught by Porkess, off Jack Smith, with the score on 167. It was then a simple task for Walker (28 not out) and Ryan Brunelleschi (5 not out) to steer the Millers to a 22 point success with eight overs to spare.
With Sandiacre also picking up 22 points the pair remain locked together at the top.