Joy and relief swept the New Gatehouse as Hucknall gave their Notts Premier League survival hopes a major boost with a superb seven-wicket win over Wollaton.
Prior to the game the team was definitely in a four-way battle at the bottom and defeat in this game would have led to a very nervous last two games both of which look very tricky.
However, the team turned in one of their best performances of the season just seven days after one of their more abject ones.
Winning the toss Hucknall elected to bowl and initially got off to a poor start as Daniel Andrew and David Barr both found the boundary several times in the first three overs.
However, the Wright brothers settled into their work and it was Joel who made the breakthrough nipping one back to bowl Andrew. Jake was then frustrated to see the first catch of the day go down at slip off James Gillepsie. The batsman took advantage to anchor the innings with a patient 41.
Adam Scott made a crucial breakthrough to have Barr caught behind as he and Matt New settled into a 24 over spell between them which choked the Wollaton innings.
They conceded just 73 runs with New taking two more wickets which took him to 250 Premier League wickets. His wickets were Tim Young who drilled a catch at Robin Maxwell and then had Gillespie stumped by Tom Walters when the ball rebounded off his pads.
Wollaton went into the last 10 overs on 122 for 3 but weren’t able to build a big finish as Hucknall chipped away at the wickets.
Paul McMahon was well caught on the long off boundary by New off the returning Jake Wright who also dismissed Nicky Kirkwood, caught by Vinay Landa.
After his success last week Harry Finch was brought on for the death overs and he was not amused to see Sunil Sharma top edge him over fine leg for six. The batsman was soon out though as Maxwell under armed a throw from side on to run him out. Finch had Archie Shannon lbw before Jake Wright had a likewise dismissal against Simon Walton. It gave Wright his Premier League best figures of 3 for 34. Wollaton finished on 175 for 9.
Hucknall opened with Josh Downie and Scott Harris and it wasn’t long before Downie put James Cox out of the ground for six followed by a leg side 4. That took him to 1,000 league and cup runs for the season. But in going for another big shot he skied the ball straight up in the air and after a long wait for it to come down Nicky Kirkwood took a good catch coming in from cover.
Harris and Maxwell put on 41 for the 2nd wicket but were both then dismissed with the score on 64. Harris was lbw to McMahon and Maxwell caught at mid wicket fending a delivery from Walton. At 64 for 3 images of a Hucknall collapse were to the fore but on this occasion there were to be no more wickets as New and Landa put together a terrific 113 partnership to win the game.
With a modest run rate and plenty of overs they built carefully and steadily against decent bowling from Wollaton. Landa, who is not averse to a rush of blood which has often led to his downfall, got his head down to play probably his best and most important innings for the club.
Only once did he hit out with a well judged and well hit shot over long on for six. He went to a half century off 87 balls. Towards the end with victory in sight he began to play more expansively with the winning boundary coming in the 47th over. Landa finished on 63 and New on 37.
Elsewhere in the NPL, Papplewick and Linby lost by eight wickets to Mansfield Hosiery Mills.