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Late lapses cost Brailsford as win and draw slip away

By Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  Posted: July 30, 2014

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BRAILSFORD know they are now in a County League Division Three relegation battle after a 27-run defeat to Swarkestone seconds at Hall Lane.

Swarkestone batted first and made a steady start, reaching 64-1 after 15 overs, Johan Van Niekierk having made the solitary breakthrough.

The visitors accelerated thanks to Andy Lancaster's quick-fire 36, though he was dropped twice.

Lancaster's eventual departure, along with opener Andy Turner, also for 36, slowed the run rate.

Veteran Ian Clarke bowled well on his way to 3-64 from 14 overs but Nick Thompson (43) and Tom Niewiarowski (35) rebuilt the innings well and some good late hitting saw Swarkestone to 222-9.

Duncan Player returned to take two wickets, as did Steve Fisher.

The reply started positively, Alex Park hitting a brisk 41 before he was out in the 18th over with the score at 70. Captain Matt Dowling had dropped himself down to number three but he was well caught at backward point for nine.

Callum Fisher (27) and Tom Cresswell (23) then moved the score on to 125-2.

Brailsford were well in it at that point but opening batsmen Fisher was out in the 30th over for 27 and three more quick wickets fell to reduce them to 135-6.

Van Niekierk and Mitchell Coxon batted sensibly to get Brailsford to 195-6 with three overs left. They needed 27 from three overs but were rocked as Swarkestone's Joe Stuart took three wickets in the 44th over.

Coxon faced four balls in the 45th over before hitting the fifth to mid-on, who took an excellent diving catch to end the game.

Failure to secure the draw cost Brailsford five points and although they took eight from the game, it was a particularly disappointing end.

Brailsford are away to third-bottom Denby on Saturday.

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