CLIFTON stayed third in Division One after a losing draw at home to Duffield.
After losing the toss, the visiting Toffs were invited to bat first on a wicket tinged with green having suffered at the hands of multiple midweek downpours.
The opening partnership of Peter Jenkins and Matthew Goodacre strode to the crease and were met by some accurate, nagging medium pace by Ed Wilson and skipper Campbell Ogilvie.
Despite a couple of alarms – Jenkins caught by Will Wilson, who appeared to drop the ball in winding up to celebrate – both openers scrapped through the initial exchanges and although the run rate was sedate, Ogilvie was forced to make changes in search of a wicket.
The introduction of Nick Birds heralded said breakthrough, Goodacre’s attempt at a late dab yielding an appeal for leg before, until the umpire pointed out that the bails were dislodged.
Paul Bakel joined Jenkins and the two put on a sprightly stand of 53 before Jenkins was well yorked by the returning Ogilvie for an outstanding 68.
Bakel fell next, a loose drive at Ogilvie providing a simple chance for Faisal Khan to gully to make it 109-3.
Unfortunately for Clifton, Thomas Roe was in fine fettle, mixing careful aggressing with sensible running and after Jack Clark departed for 11, Roe continued found a willing ally in Tim Williscroft, whose run-a-ball 25 contained only two boundaries and consisted mainly of excellent running between the wickets.
The Toffs left the field with 196-6 from the allocation, indebted to Roe’s unbeaten 48, which capped off a patient display.
After the break, Clifton started slowly through Will Wilson (11) and Edward James (31) until Alex Jones finally managed to sneak one through the defences of the former, and shortly afterwards James, looking to up the ante, slashed at a loosener from Adam Short and found the hands of Bakel at first slip.
All-rounder Khan was as enterprising as everbut had only added 17 when his attempted leg side flick went straight up and was taken by Bakel at backstop.
Skipper Ogilvie decided that shot playing was the best way to go whilst at the other end both Matt Wilson and Kalan Joyce were adjudged leg before.
The Toffs seemed in control, but Ogilvie was not to be shaken from his aggressive mood and he continued to look to pummel the ball straight, particularly off the bowling of Balraj Johal.
Ogilvie found good company in Birds, and a stand of 58 was on the verge of reaching terminal proportions for the visitors when Jones managed to nip one back through the defences of Bird (20).
Still Ogilvie continued to try to hit his side to victory, and when William Harvey was caught in the legside, Clifton needed 27 to win from two overs.
After two singles from the first two balls, Ogilvie (54) was caught from an attempted hoik over the tearoom.
Despite the best efforts of Jones, the last wicket pair of Ed Wilson (7no) and Edward Harvey (0no) made it to stumps just 12 runs short of victory.