HOLDERS Hucknall suffered semi-final agony as they exited the Popkess Cup on a one-wicket defeat after a low-scoring but exciting clash with Gotham Village.
After winning the toss, Hucknall batted first and Aaron Lee and Max Thompson put on 16 before wickets fell quickly.
Lee was caught at slip after chasing a wide delivery from Brad Moore and he was followed by Thompson.
It became 18 for three when Robin Maxwell hit a Rob Goddard delivery straight to Brad North, but it got worse as Richard Greatorex fell in the same way and Andy Carden was bowled by Moore for a duck.
A score of 23 for five was an awful position to be in, but Scott Harris and Jake Wright recovered the situation as they advanced the score by putting on 50 in 41 balls.
At the first drinks interval, the score was 82 for five off 15 overs and things were looking more promising. However, straight after the break Wright was bowled by Paul Blatherwick for 22 and the bowler repeated the feat with Harris going for 29 before Joel Wright was dismissed by a brilliant caught and bowled by Luke Pretty.
Tim Buckthorpe, Adam Scott and Tom Walters did their best to put runs on the board, but the last wicket fell in the 30th over, Tom Walters caught and bowled by More, who was Gotham’s chief wicket-taker with four for 24.
A score of 120 never looked enough, but the Gotham innings was also up and down.
Maxwell took the new ball and bore down menacingly with a number of short balls to try and unsettle the Gotham openers.
At the other end Buckthorpe had a great start when he had Gary Kerslake caught behind by Walters off his first ball and in the same over had Steve Haworth caught by Greatorex.
Misty Jones-Middleton and North recovered the innings, taking the score to 30 before the former hit Buckthorpe straight to Jake Wright at cover.
The game was swung Gotham’s way by a 58-run partnership between Goddard and North, the latter hitting a six and a four off a Scott over to get the scoreboard moving.
At 90 for four, Gotham looked all but sure but they crashed to 95 for seven with the returning Maxwell getting Goddard caught behind for 38 before Moore was bowled by Scott to give Hucknall a glimmer of hope.
Jake Wright had Greg Millward caught behind and Hucknall were in with a chance. However, Blatherwick and Jeremy Hale played the visitors towards victory which, despite a brilliant caught and bowled by Jake Wright, and a few other scares, was achieved with four byes.
Tim Buckthorpe took 3-13 from seven overs.