Langley Mill’s first team moved back up to second place in Division 3 after looking dead and buried against Trentside at Station Road on Saturday. The Millers slumped to 57 for 5, but a middle order re-build took them to a challenging total which proved just too much for the visitors.
On a cloudy afternoon, Trentside skipper Tom Liversage won the toss and asked the Millers to take first knock. With only 17 on the board, the decision was vindicated as both Langley Mill openers were back in the shed. First to go was Paul Bailey, caught by Tom Liversage, off Ben Liversage, for 7, followed soon after by Jamie Salmons, leg before to Ben Tivey for 5.
In favourable conditions, Tivey picked up three more in quick succession. Sajendra Thimal was the first, caught by keeper Joe Bassett for 25, followed by Andrew Bailey, caught by Stephen Moran for 5. Alex Bacon became Tivey’s fourth victim, also caught behind, without scoring.
With half the team out, the Millers needed to re-build and it was Jay Holmes and Andy Sibley who set about the task. Holmes hit a patient 29 before he was caught by Tom Liversage, off Karl Hancox, to reduce the Millers to 92 for 6, but Jeff Wharton joined Sibley and the pair put on 64 for the seventh wicket to give the hosts a fighting chance.
When Wharton went on 156, caught by Ben Liversage off Moran, Sibley was well on the way to his fifty. The Millers lost Dave Farnsworth, caught by Tivey, again off Moran, for 10 and Grant Ball, caught by Tom Liversage off Hancox for 2.
Jordan Fredrickson hung around with Sibley and the pair took the Millers to 200, and a vital fifth batting point, by the end of the 46th, and final, over. Sibley’s fine innings of 66 was the backbone of the innings, while Fredrickson finished 5 not out.
For Trentside, Tivey finished with 4 for 43, Moran 2 for 28 and Hancox 2 for 44. Ben Liversage’s wicket came at a cost of 35.
The Trentside reply starting cautiously, the fifty not coming up until the 20th over. Bassett was the first out, bowled by Farnsworth for 17 with Tom Jones following, caught by keeper Sibley, off Wharton for 16.
Ryan Ayling and Tom Liversage took the visitors passed halfway before Ayling was caught by Wharton, off Andrew Bailey, for a top scoring 44. On 121, Trentside lost another when Tivey was caught by Paul Bailey for 2, to give brother Andrew his second.
When Tom Liversage was next out, bowled by Ball for 41, the visitors stood at 128 for 5 and the Millers were sensing an unlikely victory. However, Scott Dunn and Ben Liversage took the visitors within fifty of their target before Dunn was bowled by Wharton for 25.
On 168, Trentside lost both Moran, leg before to Ball for 2, and Jacob Wright, bowled by Ball for a duck, to give Ball his 3-for. With eight down and 33 still needed, the Millers had five overs to claim the last two wickets.
With just 18 needed, Ben Liversage was run out for 23 but Hancox (4 not out) and Mitchell Ayling (1 not out) saw the visitors home for the losing draw.
For Langley Mill, Ball was the bowling pick with 3 for 39. Bailey and Wharton both returned 2 for 37 and Farnsworth’s wicket cost him 22.
In an extremely tight division, the Millers move up to second place, 45 points behind leaders Ockbrook & Borrowash but with a game in hand. Brailsford slip to third, two behind the Millers, with Alrewas and Trentside breathing down their necks. This one is going to go down to the wire.
Scores: Langley Mill Utd (17pts) 200-9 [46 overs] (A Sibley 66*, B Tivey 4-43) drew with Trentside (12pts) 185-9 [46 overs] (R Ayling 44, T Liversage 41, G Ball 3-39)
Alan Rowley - 14/08/2011