NOTTS PREMIER LEAGUE ROUND-UP: champions Kimberley denied by Bridon as rain wreaks havoc again

CALM BEFORE THE STORM -- Welbeck all-rounder Richard Stroh made 40 before their game at home to West Indian Cavaliers was ruined by rain.
CALM BEFORE THE STORM -- Welbeck all-rounder Richard Stroh made 40 before their game at home to West Indian Cavaliers was ruined by rain.

For the fourth successive, frustrating weekend, rain spoiled the Notts Premier League programme, with half of the scheduled action cancelled before a ball was bowled in anger.

Top-of-the-table Plumtree’s clash with bottom-of-the-table Hucknall was washed out, as was the big local derby between Mansfield Hosiery Mills and title-chasing Cuckney. It was also a case of six points each for Caythorpe and Radcliffe-on-Trent after the weather wiped out their game.

Of the other three fixtures, second-placed Kimberley moved above Cuckney and to within one point of the leaders after collecting 12 points from a rain-affected abandonment at Ordsall Bridon.

The defending champions were asked to bat first and made 220, which looked like being enough as the Retford side struggled in reply until rallying to finish on 181-8 after 44 overs when time ran out.

Top scorer for Kimberley was opener Neil Edwards, who cracked 50, including three sixes and five fours, from just 41 balls. Further decent efforts followed from George Bacon (37, six fours), Tom Rowe (33) and skipper Alex King (29), but Bridon battled back well, thanks mainly to an accomplished 7.2-over spell of bowling by Matthew Roberts (4-29).

The hosts’ response was led by Paul Van Den Heuvel, who fired two sixes and seven fours in a terrific knock of 68 that almost certainly saved his side from defeat after they slid to 36-4, 66-5 and 108-6 against the bowling of Dominic Brown (5-46 in 12 overs). At last, Van Den Heuvel found willing allies in his captain, James Brice (24, one six and four fours), and then Jake Tong (28, four fours), with whom he put on 54 for the seventh wicket to deny the visitors.

The only match of the day to reach a conclusion resulted in a seven-wicket victory for Notts CCC Academy, who took maximum points at home to relegation-threatened Clifton Village to cement fifth place in the table, 34 points off the top dogs.

Clifton opted to bat first but were quickly in trouble as opener Gregor Croudis fell first ball to 21-year-old Cornish bowler Ben Kitt, who took 3-22 in a terrific opening spell with the new ball.

Alastair Walters (31), Richard Harris (23) and Peter Vladev (21) tried hard to get the innings going, but Notts were always on top with second-change bowler Anuj Dal, of England U19s, taking 4-22 from 8.2 fine overs.

Clifton ended up with just 143, which the Academy knocked off despite losing two early wickets themselves. Tom Keast, another England U19 prospect, impressed with the way he grabbed the reply by the scruff of the neck and struck an unbeaten 71, which included ten boundaries. He was supported by Laim Patterson-White, who made 40no (one six and five fours) in an unbroken fourth-wicket partnership of 87 that guided the hosts home by the 34th over.

In the day’s remaining fixture, Welbeck got off to a flier at home to West Indian Cavaliers as openers David Hunt (62, two sixes and six fours) and Gurpej Landa (37, one six and three fours) put on 102. Richard Stroh then added 40, although Cavaliers’ bowlers, led by Aitizaz Khan (3-51) battled back, and the home side were on 197-7 from 46.2 overs when the rain came. They declared on that total, but no further play was possible.

RESULTS (home teams named first) -- Notts CCC Academy 147-3 beat Clifton Village 143 by seven wickets; Ordsall Bridon 181-8 abandoned (rain) against Kimberley 220; Welbeck 197-7dec abandoned (rain) against West Indian Cavaliers. All other matches were cancelled without a ball bowled.