BASSETLAW LEAGUE: English lesson for Cuckney as Thoresby squeeze home

Jack Willis, who bowled well and also edged Thoresby over the line with the bat.
Jack Willis, who bowled well and also edged Thoresby over the line with the bat.

All-rounder Mitchell English was the key man as a low-scoring local derby between Thoresby Colliery and Cuckney 2nd turned into a nailbiting thriller.

English took three wickets as Bassetlaw League, Championship title-chasing Thoresby bowled out their visitors for just 146. And then he fired 72, which proved crucial as the hosts squeezed home by one wicket after a crazy collapse.

While opener English was at the crease, Thoresby seemed to be cruising. He struck 13 boundaries and helped the score to 109-2 before he became the second of five victims for Cuckney bowler David France (5-42 in 13.5 overs).

But once he had gone, France and Mark Langford (3-35 in 11 overs) got stuck into the home batting and before you knew it, Thoresby were 135-8! As the nerves jangled, last pair Jack Dickens and Jack Willis edged them over the line.

Earlier Willis had taken 3-17 from 15 very tidy overs to supplement English’s return of 3-34 from seven overs. Rehan Ahmed also bowled well, taking 2-35 from 12 overs, as Cuckney struggled top find any rhythm once an opening stand of 44, bossed by David Taylor (28), had been broken. Cuckney nosedived to 113-8 before a late cameo from tailender Langford (38no).

The result lifted Thoresby into third place in the table, above Clipstone Welfare, who didn’t have a game. However, they trail by 38 points leaders Papplewick and Linby, who underlined again how difficult they are going to be to catch with a 125-run demolition of Ordsall Bridon after amassing 305-8. Gareth Blinkhorn took 7-46 from 13.4 overs to skittle Ordsall for 180.

DEFIANT Blidworth Colliery Welfare held on by the skin of their teeth to a losing draw against high-riding North Wheatley in The Championship of the Bassetlaw League.

A superb six-wicket hail by Gareth Ellis (6-51 in 13.3 overs) restricted Wheatley to a total of 220, of which Luke Istead hit 66 and skipper Jonny Loates 56. And although Blidworth started well in reply, easing to 142-3 in the hands of opener Ruve Louw (56) and Andrew Watson (40), they suddenly slumped to 168-7 and looked sure to lose. But they finished on 179-9 to pick up eight points that keep them clear of the relegation zone.

Just below them are Edwinstowe, who boosted their drop fears considerably with a fine three-wicket win at home to Notts and Arnold Amnateurs. Chasing 211-8, they were steered home by 52 from skipper Andrew Edwards and an unbeaten 48 from Pascal Broadley, who shared a key unbroken stand of 49 with Justin Pretorius (26no).