Cuckney choke as title race goes down to the wire - Notts Premier League round-up

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Cuckney’s batting collapse on Saturday means the Nottinghamshire Premier League title race will go down to the wire in this weekend’s final round of games.

Cuckney were undone by Kafeel Shafique’s 7-59 haul and go into the last game against title rivals Rolls Royce Leisure with only an eight point advantage at the top.

Rolls are third, 14 points behind reigning champions Cuckney while second-placed West Indian Cavaliers will hope they can snatch it at the death in their final game at Clifton.

Cuckney travelled to Caythorpe on Saturday knowking that 17 points would be enough to lift the title with a game to spare, whilst Caythorpe were just looking to improve on the previous week’s outing.

Visiting skipper Will Butler won the toss and elected to field and, despite an early setback, the hosts were looking set for a good score with Darren Bicknell and Mat Dowman adding 65 to get the score 96-1.

The bowling tandem of Butler and Ian Parkin had other ideas, however, Butler removing Dowman for 33 and Bicknell for 47 in quick time as Caythorpe subsided to 127-7 and finally 153 all out.

Butler finished with 4-49 and Parkin mopping up the tail to finish with 5-28.

In reply the championship chasers never really got going, Kafeel Shafique bowling his full 15-over spell unchanged, taking 7-59 that saw them reduced to 79-8. The Cuckney tail wagged before falling 12 short of victory.

West Indian Cavaliers played host to Kimberley Institute knowing that only a win would do.

Visiting skipper Sam Ogrizovic elected to bat, but Aatif Ali’s opening burst saw Cavs on top, dropping Kimberley to 64-4 on his way to taking 4-49.

Sam Johnson and Dominic Wheatley added a partnership of 98 before Wheatley fell for 41. Johnson was stumped on 83 and the innings ended at 237-8.

The Cavaliers reply followed a similar pattern as they fell to 60-3.

Akhil Patel first steadied the ship in partnership with Bilai Shafayat (31), before teaming with Dominic Williamson (46*) in an unbroken stand of 121 to win the game.

Patel ended the day on 137* from 145 balls, having struck 10 fours and three sixes.

Rolls Royce’s remain in with a slender title shot after beating Mansfield Hosiery Mills by four wickets (action pictured above) Having won the toss, captain Daniel Birch asked the visitors to bat first.

Wickets fell on a regular basis as MHM posted a tally of 214-9 from their 50.

Gareth Curtis led the way with 75, whilst only Matt New with 43 was able to lend sturdy support. Michael Millwood was the pick of the bowling, taking 3-49.

In reply, Royce looked in trouble at 97-6, but Birch decided to hit his way out of it, leading his side to the win with an unbeaten 137 from just 80 balls, he hit 11 fours and 11 sixes, the partnership with Tom Lungley being worth 120.

Farnsfield’s battle to avoid the drop looks to have ended as they could only secure the worst of a draw away to Nottinghamshire Academy.

The Acads won the toss and batted at Lady Bay, posting just 202-9. Only Matthew Cross, with 74, and George Bacon with 56, providing the backbone to the innings.

Graeme White led the bowling attack, taking 5-35 from his 15 overs.

The Farnsfield reply was dominated by a stand of 116 between Callum McKenzie (53) and Paul Franks (79).

Indeed these were the only two scores in double figures as the innings finished on 184-7.

Whilst the eight points mean Farnsfield are mathematically still alive, they are now 19 points adrift of 10th-placed Kimberley.

At Plumtree, the hosts won the toss and invited Clifton Village to have the first knock.

Several batters got starts, but no one really made it count, as the Villagers closed on 218-8.

Scott McNeill (48), Richard Harris (35) and Jarrod Coombe (31) leading the way, pick of the Plumtree bowling was Matt Milnes with 4-45, backed up by Mohsin Qayyum, who took 3-38. Plumtree reached their target with 3 balls to spare, winning by four wickets.

David Bedingham top-scored with 51. Matt Milnes completed a fine all-round day hitting 39, whilst Ben Thompson’s patient 36 not out was the bedrock of the innings. Sam Storey also contributed 30 to the winning cause.

In the day’s remaining game, Welbeck Colliery played host to Papplewick & Linby, coming out victorious by nine wickets.

Visiting skipper Mark Nelson called correctly and chose to bat and, at 119-2, this looked a smart choice.

However, the departures of Jack McIver for 52 and Ross Fitz-John for 67 put the brakes on the innings and it crumbled to 173 all out, one ball into the 48th over.

Martin Dobson was destroyer-in-chief with 5-26 from 9.1 overs.

Dobson made 32 with the bat in reply, before Matthew Higgins (84*) and Adam Burgess (41*) shared an unbroken stand of 120 to complete the win with nearly 15 overs remaining.