A stubborn last-wicket stand left Barkby United agonisingly short of an impressive victory against a strong Lutterworth side on Saturday.
The 21-point haul kept the hosts in fifth place in the Premier Division ahead of Saturday’s big local derby at Syston Town who sit just a place and a single point higher.
The visitors won the toss and inserted Barkby on a very dry pitch with plenty ion it for the spinners.
In-form Tom Flowers was forced to drop out on the morning of the game with illness meaning a recall for Ben Hinchliffe.
Matt Boyce and Ian Kirk opened the innings and started superbly against the new ball, finding the boundary consistently.
Kirk eventually chipped one to mid-off after a 22-ball 26, but Boyce continued to play nicely, reaching his 50 from 42 balls and looking set for a big score until he mis-hit another cut shot straight to point for 78.
Skipper Steve Flowers joined Ben Hinchliffe and they scored at a decent rate until the latter fell for a patient 35 with the score on 190-3.
Flowers got through to a much-needed 50 off 44 balls, but Conor Percy came and went quickly for eight.
When the captain was caught on the hook for 55, Barkby were well positioned at 213-5 off 40 overs.
But the middle and lower order decided to give their opponents fielding practice with catches and run-outs as Barkby were somehow shot out for 234 inside 47 overs.
Will Fazakerley had the Lutterworth opener snicking to Martin Troop, but then pulled up with an ankle injury.
Aiden Morris took over from the pavilion end, but Kirk’s medium pace got the breakthrough, trapping Pickering in front (41-2). Two balls later Kirk struck again and Morris then grabbed an lbw to reduce the visitors to 55-4.
Hinchliffe took the key wicket of Turns, caught by the back-pedalling Percy, before spinner Rob Townsend took another big wicket, trapping Wilson lbw (120-6).
Drake removed the big-hitting Smith and when Townsend claimed his second wicket and young Jack Johnson struck, the visitors were reeling on 129-9 with 15 overs left.
The number 11 chanced his arm several times, but the final pair held out, finishing 176-9 off a mammoth 53 overs.