Misery for Kimberley Institute as they lose two thrillers in a row
Kimberley Institute were involved in two thrilling games last weekend but lost both to find themselves out of the Royal London National Club Championship and down to seventh in the Nottinghamshire Premier League.
They went down by five wickets in a high-scoring game at Radcliffe-on-Trent in the NPL on Saturday before being pipped on the last ball in a two run loss at Cavaliers & Carrington in the Royal London.
“It was a disastrous weekend,” said captain George Bacon
“They were both really, really good games but we came out on the wrong side of both which is really disappointing and tough to take.
“We played really well at Radcliffe on Saturday and thought we had enough at their place. But they came out really aggressive and we didn't have the answers to that.
“They played very well. But I think there were things we could have done better.”
He added: “Against Cavaliers we needed four to win or three to tie off the last ball but only scored a single.
“We had done very well to get our total into the position where the chase was on and against a fantastic bowling attack. They bowled brilliantly up top and really restricted us very well.
“Numbers four to eight then played really well to get us in with a chance.
“But no one could just get us over the line which was really hard to take – especially after Saturday.
“To have two such good games and play well for large portions of both and come out on the losing side of both was really tricky to take.
Kimberley made an impressive 284-5 at Radcliffe, Tom Rowe with 66, Jack Nightingale hitting 59, Martin Weightman adding 51 and George Bacon 42 not out.
Radcliffe lost their first wicket with only three runs on the board.
But Rob Sutton (78) and Jack Towers (91) put on 149 for the second wicket and with them gone Caleb Mierkalns (34 not out) and Jacob Deavin-Baker (49 not out) saw them to 288-5 with 11 balls left.
“We didn't bowl poorly. They were hitting good balls and hitting good balls well,” said Bacon.
“Jack Towers batting at three has been a bit of a revelation to them. He has been in and out of their team and in and out of the league for some time now.
“To be honest, without being disrespectful, he is never someone you have given much thought to when you play against him.
“But he has been moved up to number three and turned himself into a really good player. He is very aggressive.
“He hits good balls and keeps trying to hit good balls. He doesn't just play shots through the powerplay and rein it back – he will keep going. We didn't react quickly enough to that.
“We were waiting for him to hit one up in the air and he didn't. He did miss one when he was on 90-odd, but the damage was done by then.
“Rob Sutton played a good supporting role to him and took it on. When we got him out as well we thought we were in with a really good chance but then Caleb Mierkalns and Jacob Deavin-Baker played equally aggressively and equally as well and we had too much dragging back to do.
“Full credit to Radcliffe. It was a great chase and they played really well, but purely from a Kimberley point of view I felt there was more we could have done and things we could have done differently.
On Sunday Cavaliers elected to bat and hit 229-6, Shivsinh Thaker with 67, Nayyar Abbas 55, Kashif Ali 40 and Adam Tillcock 37.
Kimberley were always in the chase as Martin Weightman 951), Sam Wood (39), George Bacon (32) and Matt Taylor (25) kept the runs flowing.
But Usman Arshad claimed 4-45 and Kimberley could not get the last ball of the day far enough away in a thrilling finale.
Kimberley now have a swift chance of revenge at home to Radcliffe-on-Trent on Saturday before a Derbyshire Premier Cup tie away to Eckington on Sunday.
“I don't like looking at the table with us seventh, but if we get full points from our three games in hand we are only two points behind the teams at the top,” said Bacon.
“So it's by no means disastrous. The fact that Cuckney also lost as well on Saturday means they stay well within reach.
“We know exactly what to expect against Radcliffe – there are not going to be any surprises. We just have to go out there and do better.
“We are a good side who have come the wrong side of two good games and on another weekend we could have won them both.
“We are now really looking forward to the weekend.”
On Eckington, he added: “We have played them once before and we got the better of them.
“It's another cup game and one we're really looking forward to.
“Having been knocked out the national cup, it's a cup we'd really like to progress in and we will be well prepared.”