Shellshocked PAPPLEWICK AND LINBY have reacted swiftly after losing a dramatic local derby to an incredible fightback by ROLLS-ROYCE LEISURE.
Papplewick, languishing at the foot of the Notts Premier League, looked ripe for their first victory of the season when skittling Rolls for just 114.
But on a day of high drama, Rolls recovered superbly to roll over the visitors for a measly 81 in reply.
The result left the arch rivals at opposite ends of the table, with John Birch’s Rollers still unbeaten since gaining promotion.
Now Papplewick have decided enough is enough, snapping up former England batsman Mal Loye as their new professional.
Loye (40) will replace ex-New Zealand international Lou Vincent, whose deal has been scrapped even before he picked up a bat for the village outfit.
Vincent was expected to make his long-awaited debut at Rolls. But personal family troubles mean he cannot commit to Papplewick at all this summer.
Loye enjoyed a fine first-class career with Northamptonshire and Lancashire between 1991 and 2008, amassing more than 15,000 runs at an average of almost 40. He also played in seven one-day internationals for England.
A teacher at Uppingham School in Rutland, he has been playing minor counties cricket over the last two years.
He is expected to take up his position at Papplewick late next month. And how they need him, judging by the way their batting line-up capitulated at Rolls.
Young opener Jack McIver hung around for about 90 minutes. But the rest of his teammates had no answer to the home team’s fiery bowling attack, comprising Adam Shepherd, Tom Lungley and Liaqat Ali .
Paceman Shepherd took four for 32 in 11.3 overs, while new-ball partner Lungley underlined what an accomplished all-rounder he is with a return of two for 24 from 14 overs .
Liaqat was also at his unplayable best, ripping the heart out of Papplewick’s middle-order with three for 11 in eight overs.
At one stage, the visitors lost five wickets for only 14 runs. And although Jim Rhodes, Gareth Blinkhorn and Michael South tried hard to dig out a recovery, Rolls’s amazing win was sealed by a deadly second spell from Shepherd.
The collapse was particularly harsh on captain Rhodes, who had earlier bowled brilliantly to reduce The Rollers to tatters.
Papplewick’s burly talisman took six for 37 from 15 overs, with no fewer than four of his victims falling lbw.
For once, he received welcome support at the other end, as Blinkhorn bagged two for 27 from seven overs and spinner McIver two for 38 from 9.5.
And for the first time this season, Rolls were on the ropes.
The home side relied heavily on defiant knocks of 33 not out (one six and three fours) from Steve Atkinson, 26 (six fours) from Lungley and 22 (four fours) from skipper Dan Birch to keep them afloat. Indeed, without number eight Atkinson, they wouldn’t have reached three figures.
It was all so misleading, however. After Papplewick had tucked into their tea with relish, Rolls emerged like a wounded tiger.