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Rolls Royce cruise into lead

The Nottinghamshire Cricket Board Premier League has a new leader after the West Indian Cavaliers slipped up and allowed Rolls Royce to take their place at the top of the pile.

Rolls secured top-spot after a six-wicket win away at Sookholme over Welbeck.  The visitors won the toss and elected to field first and this seemed the right choice as Welbeck were dismissed for 166 in just over 46 overs.

The wickets were shared between three bowlers with Nottinghamshire’s Luke Fletcher starring with figures of 4-21 from just 8.4 overs, and he was supported by Adam Shepherd (3-32) and Matthew Roberts (3-16).

Only two Welbeck batters got into double figures with Martin Dobson underlining his importance to the team with 79, with Rob French contributing 47. Rolls were wobbling at 24 for two but Fletcher showed his class with the bat this time, hitting 73 and putting on 89 with Liam Andrews (37).

Both fell before the win was achieved with more than 11 overs to spare for the loss of just four wickets. The 2012 South Notts champions now have a two-point lead at the top of the league.

Last week’s leaders, the West Indian Cavaliers slipped to an unexpected 56-run loss away at Plumtree, who remain in fourth spot. The Cavaliers also fielded first but Plumtree got off to solid start, Sam Storey and Ben Milnes putting on 51 for the first wicket.

But then they lost a remarkable seven wickets for just 11 runs with Ricky Anderson (4-37) and Shahzada Khan (3-22) doing the damage before Khan had to leave the field with an ankle injury.

Bobby Gamble struck some lusty blows to end on 36 not out and the home side were dismissed for 127 in 42.2 overs. But the drama was not finished and Plumtree’s bowlers roared into the Cav’s batting line-up and they dismissed the 10 fit batsmen for just 71 in 35.5 overs with skipper Ben Thompson taking three wickets in a single over to end with figures of 3-17 - with two wickets each for Gamble, Matt Milnes and Mohsin Qayyum.

The winning habit continues to elude Cuckney in 2013 with the best of a draw earned away at Papplewick. The visitors batted first and racked up 233 for eight in their innings with Will Butler and Tom Ullyott each scoring 52 and Richard Bostock chipping in with 32 from 33 balls.

Kieron McComb was the leading Papplewick bowler with figures of 3-56.  The home side have had a difficult start to the season but avoided their fourth defeat of the campaign when they hung on for a draw at 191 for nine with skipper Jim Rhodes top-scoring with 49, support coming from Doug Morton (41) and Gareth Blinkhorn (36 not out). Richard Stroh underlined his all-round capabilities with 5-48 from 14 overs.

If Papplewick have had a poor start, three-time champions Clifton have fared worse and now sit at the bottom of the table after suffering their third loss of the season in the same week that they parted company with coach Andy Brown. They welcomed Mansfield Hosiery Mills to the Clifton Oval where the visitors batted first but were limited to a below par 164 for seven with Mark Smallwood scoring 48 and Sudesh Fernando weighing in with 33; David Lucas, Martin Weightman and Alex Turner each contributing two wickets.

At 106 for four, a first Clifton win of the season looked likely, but they lost their last six wickets for 52 with Matt Wright (4-49) and Fernando (3-33) doing most of the damage. Richard Harris (32) and Weightman (35) were the only batters to make a significant contribution.

The Nottinghamshire Academy did manage to win their first game of the season as they secured a 107 run victory over struggling Caythorpe at Lady Bay. The county side batted first and closed on 253 for eight with significant contributions from Sam Wood (82), Sam Kelsall (46) and Anuj Dal (30); Matt Dowman secured the best bowling figures with a return of 3-26.

Caythorpe fell to 21 for three but never fully recovered and were dismissed in exactly 39 overs for 146 with only Josh Mierkalns standing firm with 48. Luke Wood was the chief destroyer with figures of 6-29 from 10 overs with George Bacon also finding form with 3-49.

The final game of the day saw Kimberley travel to Farnsfield to secure a winning draw; the visitors batted first and scored well to end on 259 for five with Paldip Sidhu and Jon Terry both scoring 75 as they put on 145 for the first wicket.

James Mann contributed a quickfire 43 not out from just 18 balls and Dave Loveridge grabbed 3-62. Farnsfield lost three early wickets but Callum McKenzie (47), Paul Franks (61) and Curtis Mitchell (63) turned the innings around; but a couple of late wickets pegged them back and they finished on a creditable 228 for six with a pair of wickets each for Atif Sheikh and Alex King.