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Falcons struck down by rain

Derbyshire Falcons saw their Royal London One-Day Cup game against Essex Eagles at the 3aaa County Ground abandoned without a ball bowled.

Heavy rain throughout the morning in Derby left the outfield saturated and, with little chance of any improvement in the weather, umpires Nigel Cowley and Peter Willey called off the Group A match at 10.10am, 20 minutes before the scheduled start.

It was Essex's second washout in three days and head coach Paul Grayson is hoping their next scheduled match versus Yorkshire Vikings at Scarborough tomorrow will not go the same way.

He said: "It doesn't help either team because Derbyshire wanted to play and we wanted to play and now we've got a big game at Scarborough tomorrow.

"We might have to win two out of the last three games to go through (to the quarter-finals.) It was a sensible decision by the umpires and I'll be surprised if there is any cricket in the country today. It's like a bog out there and two experienced umpires made an early call.

"Derbyshire fancy their chances of qualifying as we do, they've found nice form in this competition and we played very well against Lancashire at Chelmsford. I think nine points should get you through in the top four and although we've got three tough games, everyone seems to be beating everyone else in this division.

"We just hope we get better weather at Scarborough."

Derbyshire's elite performance director Graeme Welch said: "It would have been nice to get on and try and get two points but it's been raining here since 7 o'clock this morning and, speaking to the groundsman, this band of rain isn't going away, so I think the umpires Peter Willey and Nigel Cowley were sensible to call it off.

"But we've got three games left and I think we need to win two of them. We've been playing good cricket in this competition and although we had one setback (the defeat to Lancashire), hopefully we can win a few more games to go through.

"Everyone is beating everyone else and I think it will go down to the last round of games. We are in the same situation now, there were only a couple of teams due to play today so I don't think the league will change much and the next week will have a major say in what happens."

At least there was better news for Derbyshire on 19-year-old seam bowler Tom Taylor, who had to be helped off the field against Lancashire Lightning on Thursday with a damaged left ankle.

"Speaking to Jamie Pipe the physio, it's not as bad as we first thought," Welch said. "He's done something to the tendons but he might even be back for the last couple of games of the season.

"He's a young lad and he might heal quickly so we'll see how he goes over the next couple of weeks."

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