The battle for the league title is far from over after leaders Cuckney stumbled to a losing draw at home to Plumtree; less than a week after the home side’s exit from the ECB National Club Competition to York.
Cuckney will have wanted a confidence boosting win but for the second time this season found Plumtree in top form.
Fielding first on winning the toss, they were on a high when the visitors fell to 12 for 2 but an 85 run partnership between Sam Storey (54) and Matt Wood (43) got the Plumtree innings going and they finished on 212 for 9 in their 50 overs with further significant contributions from Justin Stockdale (31) and a run-a-ball 39 not out from Matt Milnes.
The home batters found it slow-going against some tight bowling and in the end, they hung on for a draw at 181 for 8; only Nick Langford (51) made a significant contribution and Mohsin Qayyum led the Plumtree attack with figures of 3-47.
Second-placed Nottinghamshire Academy were on track to record a win which would have reduced Cuckney’s lead to just seven points with five left to play but the rain intervened to deny them victory against Kimberley.
The Academy won the toss and fielded and restricted the visitors to 172 for 9 with Akhil Patel top-scoring with 48; the county side’s leading bowlers were Adam Tillcock with 3-48 and skipper Andrew Parkin-Coates who took 3-35.
The Academy run chase was well underway when the rains came and washed away the game; they had reached 145 for 6, needing just 28 from the remaining 12.4 overs.
Sam Kelsall (46) and Tom Rowe (37) led the chase but they had to settle for 10 points as the Lady Bay ground became waterlogged.
The form team in the league must be Caythorpe who strode to an impressive 7 wicket win at home to Papplewick to record their fourth successive win; the visitors chose to bat first and closed on 188 for 7 with Matt Dowman leading from the front with an unbeaten 106 with 13 fours and two sixes.
Tim Haines continued his outstanding season with figures of 3-13. But Caythorpe have caught the winning habit and they strode to victory with more than six overs to spare; James Oldham again impressed with 42 not out but the star of the show was James Hawley who followed up his 103 against Plumtree last week with 101 not out to secure the win.
The big battle at the bottom of the table took place at Wollaton who welcomed Welbeck for what could be a significant match in the battle to avoid relegation; it ended in a five wicket loss for Wollaton, their tenth of the season and they now need a miraculous recovery to stay up.
Home skipper Tim Young called right at the toss and batted first but he would have been disappointed with a below-par 174 for 9 from their 50 over allocation with Ian Dodd (60) and Sam Johnson (32) sharing a 54 run stand for the third wicket; Jonathan Ball was the best Welbeck bowler with figures of 3-39.
The visitors raced to their target with nearly 11 overs to spare for the loss of five wickets with Martyn Dobson yet again leading the way with 68 not out at the top of the order with ‘keeper Dave Hunt chipping in with 35; Dominic Reed did his best to stave off defeat recording figures of 3-44.
The West Indian Cavaliers have moved into fourth spot after a six wicket win away at bottom club Worksop who are almost certainly consigned to the drop.
The home side batted first and were dismissed for just 117 in the 42nd over with three Cavs bowlers grabbing three wickets each – Saqlain Mushtaq with 3-25, Ricky Anderson with 3-44 and Farhan Shaukat 3-31; Wayne Spooner continued his recent good form with 44 for the home side.
The Cavaliers lost four wickets in chasing down their target but took only 25.3 overs to get there with Rawait Khan grabbing 68 not out from 77 balls.
The final game of the day saw Clifton continue their recent form slump with a losing draw away at Mansfield Hosiery Mills. The home side batted first and rushed to 258 for 4 with hundreds for Gareth Curtis and Tom New – they both scored 101 and New’s runs came from just 96 balls.
Martin Weightman was involved in all four wickets that fell, taking 3-63 and adding a run out. But it was not to be entirely his day as he was dismissed for a duck at the top of the Clifton order as they went on to reach 210 for 6; Tom Lungley again starred with an unbeaten 55 with support coming from James Taylor with 43 and Scott McNeill 36 and Matt New taking 3-53 for the Millers.