Down to the wire for Cuckney
The fight for the title will go right into the final weekend after leaders Cuckney were outplayed by the Nottinghamshire Academy and fell to a losing draw.
The County side batted first on losing the toss and they went into tea at 268 for six after Sam Kelsall (82) and Sam Wood (78) put on 108 for the fourth wicket and ‘keeper Matt Cross chipped in with 35 at the top of the order.
Cuckney were never really up with the rate and finished their innings on 199 for the loss of six wickets with Adam Burgess striking 65 and Will Root 40.
This result leaves Cuckney 14 ahead of the Academy and the Nottinghamshire side finish their season with a home match against the West Indian Cavaliers and Cuckney host Wollaton.
If the contest at the top of the table is close, it is even tighter at the bottom as two clubs, Wollaton and Papplewick, are battling to avoid joining Worksop as the second relegated club.
Wollaton had the better day of the two when they grabbed 16 points in a winning draw in their home game with Caythorpe, who have now dropped to fifth. The home side batted first and finished with 211 for six with Ian Dodd continuing his remarkable run of form with 60, supported by James Godrich (55) and Tim Young (36).
Caythorpe could not compete with this total and finished on 155 for eight with veteran Darren Bicknell leading the batting unit with 44 and Adam Davies and Alex King each taking three wickets.
Wollaton are now level on points with Papplewick after they secured only five in their losing draw away at Mansfield Hosiery Mills. The home side opted to bat first and completed their 50 overs on 266 for three after Tom New hit his fourth hundred of the season, exactly 100 not out.
He added 155 for the fourth wicket with brother Matt (59 not out) after Gareth Curtis opened up with 40. Papplewick struggled to score at the same rate and finished with 187 for the loss of five wickets with Brad Matthews (45 not out) and Graeme Roberts (46 not out) putting on an unbeaten 94 for the six with wicket after Warren Nel (35) and Matt Dowman (31) both got starts.
Adam Dobb took all five wickets to fall and finished with the remarkable figures of 5-27 from 15 overs. So the relegation fight also extends to the last weekend with Wollaton travelling to Cuckney and Papplewick hosting Worksop.
Worksop are already down but fell to their twelfth loss in fifteen completed games when they lost by five wickets to Plumtree at Central Avenue. Visiting skipper Nigel Finney won the toss and elected to bowl first, a decision vindicated when the home side had slipped to 63 for six.
But Conor Smith (61) and Mark Ambrose (31) built an excellent stand of 82 for the seventh wicket and Worksop finished their innings on 148 for eight.
Plumtree’s openers Sam Storey and Neil Edwards put on 89 for the first wicket with Edwards scoring 41 and Storey posting his fifth half century of the season with 56; after they departed, several wickets fell cheaply but the result was rarely in doubt and the visitors secured their win with 16 overs to spare.
Clifton may not be adding to their three consecutive titles this season but they remain hungry for results and inflicted a 79 run win over Kimberley at the Clifton Oval.
The home side batted first and did well to finish on 216 all out in the final over of their innings, especially after they were nine for three. Dominic Harvey (84) and Tom Lungley (48) did most of the recovery work with a stand of 140 for the 4th wicket.
Skipper Alastair Walters later hit 32 from 25 balls and Richard Adams (3-46) and Akhil Patel (3-36) led the Kimberley bowling attack.
Dan Birch, returning to Clifton for the first time since his close-season move, fell for 17 and that set the tone for the remainder of the innings as his team was dismissed for just 137 in 33 overs; Lungley completed a good day in securing figures of 3-38 but Alex Turner stole the limelight with a return of 4-29.
The final game of the day took place at Sookholme where Welbeck fell to five wicket loss to the West Indian Cavaliers. The home side batted first and scored 165 for eight, only Jonathan Ball managed to master the conditions and the Cavs attack with 59 and Orson Nurse returned the best figures with 3-40.
The Cavs overhauled their target in just over 40 overs for the loss of five wickets with Michael Millwood leading the response with 67 and Dominic Williamson 31.