A thrilling run chase saw visitors Buxton 2nd XI edge Hayfield 2nd XI in a tight match on Saturday.
Winning the toss and electing to field, Buxton restricted Hayfield in the early overs through tight bowling from openers Matt Eyre and Rob Hawley and some excellent fielding.
Hayfield, despite the run-out loss of their first wicket to a sharp piece of fielding from Graham Holder, had other ideas and Cox, Yardley, Coverley and Adamson all contributed to a respectable total of 203-7. The short boundary proved difficult for Buxton to defend.
The Hayfield wickets were shared evenly through the bowlers with Elliot Cash-Davis (1-15) and Hawley (1-35) bagging one apiece, with Tim Budd (2-20) and Phil Bentley (2-67) chipping in with two each.
Buxton slumped to 23-3 off the first 13 overs in reply, with Budd, Bentley and Bellfield all back in the pavilion cheaply, leaving Neil Skitt to join opener Tom Griffin in the middle. A superb stand of 125 followed which turned the game on its head and, although scoring was initially hard due to tight bowling from Ney (5-37) and Cox, Griffin soon found his stride and rode his luck to register an excellent and cultured 85.
However, when Griffin fell with 12 overs remaining, the run rate was still six an over.
Buxton’s Skitt took up the baton and hit a belligerent 67 before succumbing to the excellent Ney, reducing the required run rate to a manageable four an over.
Buxton skipper Will Annison rapidly reduced the target with some powerful hitting, leaving Graham Holder to stroke an imperious cover drive to bag the victory, and 19 points, with two overs to spare.
While the other weekend results may not have been kind to Buxton, their performance made sure their Division Three fate will only be decided in the season’s final weekend, when Buxton entertain Mottram at the Park on Saturday.
Victory itself may not be enough to ensure survival, but now with four victories on the bounce it will not be for the lack of effort or team spirit.