The first game of August found Kimberley Institute travelling away to face the West Indian Cavaliers and their array of former test-match players.
Buoyed by the memory of their epic victory in May, Kimberley fancied their chances again, but it was not to be this time as they fell to their third consecutive defeat, losing as they did by seven wickets.
Winning the toss, captain Sam Ogrizovic opted to bat first and Kimberley enjoyed a steady start as Jon Terry (22) and Alex Robinson (33) added 41 for the first wicket before the Cavaliers spinners came on and stymied proceedings.
Terry was first to fall, caught bat-pad off Zuben Faisal (2-35), then it was the turn of Cavaliers’ captain Usman Afzaal (3-39) who accounted for his opposite number Ogrizovic with a caught and bowled effort.
Akhil Patel started brightly before suicidally running himself out and then when Afzaal trapped Robinson lbw, ending his stubborn resistance, Kimberley found themselves 87-4 in the 29th over.
Kimberley looked to fight back though with Nick Langford (27) and Paldip Sidhu (44) adding 32 for the fifth wicket before Langford, looking to up the run-rate, holed out to long-off to hand Afzaal his third wicket.
Sidhu continued to bat calmly and manoeuvred the ball well and with Paul Riley (18) moved the score onto 154-5 in the 43rd over before Saqlain Mushtaq (4-60) began to work his way through the lower-order.
First Riley was caught on the boundary then James Mann, Dominic Wheatley and Matt Wright all lost their stumps as Mushtaq’s guile, which brought him nearly 500 international wickets, beat their defences and left Kimberley 173-9 in the 48th.
Sidhu and Richard Adams did their best to try and get Kimberley up to 200 but Sidhu fell in the penultimate over going for another maximum off Faisal which left the home team needing 186 for victory.
Cavaliers’ response got off to a measured start as Aqib Afzaal (14) and wicket-keeper Aaron Thomas (29) moved the score onto 51 without loss at the end of the 17th over before Kimberley, briefly, got amongst the wickets.
First to fall was Afzaal as he inexplicably left a straight Riley (2-50) delivery which rapped his pads and the umpire had no hesitation in raising his finger.
Riley struck again in his next over as he bowled Thomas through the gate and when Usman Afzaal top-edged Patel (1-71) - and a relieved Terry held on - Cavaliers were 60-3 in the 21st over.
However that was as good as it got for Kimberley as Rawait Khan (67*) and Dominic Williamson (50*) combined to add 126 for the fourth wicket.
Kimberley kept plugging away with Williamson surviving a very close lbw shout, but the pair absorbed the pressure and dispatched the bad ball to steer the Cavaliers to victory in the 41st over.
The game also saw the final appearance for Kimberley by Nick Langford as he departs for the USA to pursue a football scholarship.
The 2nd XI welcomed Radcliffe-on-Trent to Newdigate Street hoping to return to winning ways but they were thwarted by the visitors and had to settle for a losing draw.
Batting first, Radcliffe compiled a healthy 260-7 from their 48 overs with Mark Fish (68) and Paul Richardson (45) leading the way.
Steve Bennett (2-60) and Ian Wright (2-56) had the best of the bowling for Kimberley.
In reply a steady fall of wickets hampered any attempt at a run-chase and Kimberley instead ground out a respectable draw despite the best efforts of Chris Owen-Jones (5-71).
James Griffiths led the resistance with an unbeaten 70 and resolute support came from Paul Blatherwick (44), Ben Johnson (34) and Bennett (33) as Kimberley closed their innings on 236-7.
For the third time in a row the 3rd XI provided the only victory of the weekend as they skittled hosts Caunton for just 132 and knocked off the runs with six wickets and 12 overs to spare.
In a match reduced to 40 overs per side the home team batted first and despite virtually all of the top order making it into double figures none could kick on and make a real score of note, the best effort being that of number seven Nathan Suiter who made 36 not out.
That is not to take anything away from the Kimberley bowling attack though as they all played their part.
Becky Widdowson, Martyn Stackhouse, Max Sugarman and Sam Beale all took one wicket apiece as they accounted for the top four, but it was the spin of Matt Ross (3-23) and Charlie Walters (3-20) that did the real damage as they worked their way through the lower-order with the hosts bowled out in the 39th over.
Chris Mozley (21) got Kimberley’s reply off to a good start before falling with the score on 22 and then Edward Wright (29) and Luke Tantum (16) took the score to 49-2 before the latter was out.
There then proceeded a match-winning partnership of 72 between Wright and Sugarman who made a fine, composed 59 not out which included eight boundaries.
Wright was run-out with just 12 needed for victory but Sugarman continued unabated and fittingly hit the winning runs to seal all 20 points for Kimberley.
A holiday-weakened fourth team greeted top of the league and unbeaten Hoveringham 2nds with some trepidation on Saturday.
Having won the toss Paul Newton smashed 14 from the first five balls but was bowled by the the sixth.
Some accurate swing bowling followed but a good partnership of 69 runs developed between captain Paul Taylor (31) and 13-year-old Jack Blatherwick.
But after the pair were broken only Alex Aldred with 12 not out managed double figures. The innings closed at 151 for 8 in 45 overs with Blatherwick having completed his first senior half century on 57.
A good opening spell from Tom Boyden and Dan Huskinson followed and Hoveringham were rocked at 16-2.
Wickets continued to fall but runs were accumulating at the same time.
Kimberley put in a tremendous all-round fielding display but Ian Harte’s 48 not out for the visitors was decisive and the game was won in the 37th over.