RELIEVED Papplewick and Linby can finally confirm they are safe from relegation as they approach the end of the worst season of their nine-year stint in the Notts Premier League (NPL).
PAPPLEWICK AND LINBY 146-8
With one game to play, Papplewick know they will finish tenth in the 12-team NPL table, having never come lower than eighth before.
But at least they have survived after grinding out their sixth losing draw of the campaign, away to Wollaton last Saturday.
It was a backs-to-the-wall effort by the locals, who showed no inclination to chase the home team’s useful five-an-over total once they hit trouble in the middle order.
Opening bats Alex Lloyd (30, six fours) and Tim Clarke (20, three fours) laid a solid foundation, putting on 49, but then both were dismissed by Rhys Owen (three for 30 in 12 overs) and the wickets began to tumble.
Despite 21 (four fours) from Mark Nelson, the board soon read 77 for six, with Ben Savage (three for 43 in nine overs) striking three times in quick succession, and so Papplewick were left with little option but to shut up shop.
To their credit, they were successful — thanks to a stubborn eighth-wicket stand of 48 between Jim Rhodes (31 not out, one six and three fours) and Graeme Roberts (20, four fours), which virtually saw the visitors through to the close.
Earlier Wollaton had batted soundly all the way down their order, courtesy of 50 (eight fours) from Tim Young, 33 (five fours) from David Smith, 32 (four fours) from Antony Keely, 25 (four fours) from Ian Dodd and 22 (five fours) from skipper Ed Savill.
Smith put on 56 for the first wicket with Savill and 43 for the second with Dodd before Young and Keely shared 73 for the fourth.
Not for the first time this summer, Papplewick’s most effective bowler was Rhodes, whose 15 overs yielded admirable figures of four for 40.
New-ball partner Aaron Onyon took three for 60 from 11 overs, while young spinner Dane Straw took one for 58 from 14 overs and Husnain Riaz one for 45 from seven.