Langley Mill’s Sunday side made the long trip north to take on Rotherham based Anston and had to be content with a losing draw in a nerve tingling encounter. Chasing 203 to win, the Millers fell five runs short with the last pair at the crease.
Batting first, Anston racked up 202 for 9 from their 40 overs. Martyn Long top scored with 48 and there were useful contributions from skipper Leighton Hill (29), Jonathon Plant (28) and Sam Taylor (20).
For Langley Mill, leading wicket taker Rich Davey picked up another four wickets to add to his tally, finishing with 4 for 48. Alex Bacon returned figures of 2 for 40 and Grant Ball 2 for 54. Stuart Mee, donning a Millers shirt for the first time since 2007, took the other wicket to fall at a cost of 16 runs.
In reply, the Millers lost Ball early on, caught by Long off Lewis Brealey’s bowling for 9, but Andy Sibley and Rich Krupiak took the visitors to 63 before Krupiak was bowled by Plant for 17.
Ben Scott failed to trouble the scorers, but Sibley was joined by Jordan Fredrickson and the pair took the Millers to 132 before Sibley was fourth out, leg before to Long for 47.
The middle order continued the chase but lost Mee, bowled by Long for 12, and Kyle Barton run out for 13. Fredrickson hit a useful 31 before he was caught by Anthony Roddis off Sam Taylor but Bacon inched the Millers nearer home with 23 before he was caught by Taylor to give Long his third.
The Millers lost Andrew Bailey, caught by Plant off Brealey for a single and, with only nine needed, the last pair were at the crease. To the disappointment of the large Millers contingent, Langley Mill finished on 198 for 9, picking up ten points for the losing draw. Rich Davey was unbeaten on 7 at the end.
For Anston, Long returned 3 for 41 and Brealey 2 for 35 to push Anston up to second spot in the league, 11 points behind the Millers, with next opponents Frecheville Community 19 behind the Millers in third. Langley Mill still have a one game advantage over their opponents in what has developed into a three horse race for the title.
Scores: Anston (18pts) 202-9 [40 overs] (M Long 48, R Davey 4-46) drew with Langley Mill Utd (10pts) 198-9 [40 overs] (A Sibley 47, J Fredrickson 31, M Long 3-41)
Alan Rowley - 15/08/2011