Frustration was again the name of the game for ROLLS-ROYCE LEISURE, whose Notts Premier League (NPL) title hopes were dealt another blow.
Seven days after they had to be content with a losing draw when a run-chase fell one short, the boot was on the other foot when Rolls were restricted to a winning draw away to struggling Welbeck Colliery.
Now they sit fifth in the NPL table, 34 points behind leaders Cuckney with six matches to play -- against Mansfield Hosiery Mills, West Indian Cavaliers, Clifton Village, Plumtree, Cuckney and Ordsall Bridon.
There wasn’t too much wrong with Rolls’s performance at Welbeck. After being out into bat, they built a useful total of 250 for eight in their allotted 50 overs.
But after tea, their bowling attack lacked penetration in the absence of influential trio Luke Fletcher, Atif Sheikh and Adam Shepherd.
Gurpej Landa (one for 19 in six overs) stepped in to share new-ball duties bwith Tom Lungley (one for 42 in 14 overs), and he picked up an early wicket, trapping opener Matthew Higgins lbw. However, from then on, Welbeck progressed without serious scares, although they never threatened to overhaul Rolls’s big score.
The rest of the home side’s top order all made runs, with Lewis Cameron (48, seven fours) and Raman Sharma (46, five fours) leading the way in a second-wicket partnership worth 95.
Once they had been split, the good work was carried on by Richard Stroh (30, three fours), Jonathan Ball (28), Robert French (23, one six and gthree fours) and Andrew Marchant (22, four fours).
Of the other wickets to fall, spinner Matt Roberts took two for 67 in 11 overs and Hasnain Nasir one for 42 in 11.
Like Welbeck, all of Roll’s frontline batsmen produced runs as they scored at the healthy rate of five an over. Openers Michael Millwood (48, seven fours) and Shaun Levy (33, seven fours) showed the way with an opening stand of 102.
The momentum was maintained by Landa with 29 (two fours), skipper Dan Birch with 30 (one six and three fours) and Lungley with a fine 45 (four fours).
Welbeck’s bowlers did not really find success until Ball and Marchant were introduced as fourth and fifth change. Ball, older brother of Notts CCC bowler Jake Ball, took three for 53 from 13 overs and Marchant three for 39 from seven.