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Derbyshire Premier League weekend previews

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: July 18, 2014

WELCOME RETURN .... Tom Mandleberg is back in the Dunstall first team

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LULLINGTON Park face a tough challenge if they are to climb out of the Derbyshire County League Premier Division basement this weekend.

With no game last Saturday as the club mourned the death of Charlie Veale, the young Park player who died after suffering a stroke, Jonny Shales' side slipped into the bottom two in the league.

They have that game in hand, but tomorrow face the daunting task of facing league leaders Ockbrook & Borrowash in what is sure to be a testing encounter.

Elsewhere in the Premier Division, DUNSTALL vice-captain Tom Mandleberg is itching to get back into first team action tomorrow after playing in the seconds for two weeks.

Mandleberg's batting average is 24.76 so far this season, up on last year, but with the Stags' second string struggling in Division Five South, he was called upon to help them out.

Despite hitting a century in his first game after dropping down, Mandleberg was unable to help the team pick up any wins, as they lost both games in which he played.

He is back with the first XI now as they host fellow mid-table side Denby at Deer Park.

"It was difficult going down to the second team," said Mandleberg.

"But it was good for my confidence and I could see the idea in it being good for the club.

"But I am glad to be back in the firsts and raring to go."

After briefly flirting with the title race, the Stags are now 66 points off top spot, but they have a point to prove against Denby.

Earlier in the season, Dunstall were 147-3 against their hosts in the reverse fixture, but a spectacular batting collapse saw them plummet to 178 all out inside 45 overs.

That gave Denby the extra balls they needed to reach and surpass the target set.

"I think it'll be a tough game," said Mandleberg.

"We threw away a good chance of winning away earlier in the season.

"But they will have Peter Burgoyne back, who is one of the best players in the league."

Dunstall have not won a match for six games in all competitions, but held reigning champions Swarkestone to a draw last weekend and were perhaps unlucky not to have pulled off something of a shock victory.

"It was good to get ten wickets down for a change," said Mandleberg of a game that saw the hosts all out for 201, with the Stags just unable to chase that down, falling 20 runs short of the win.

"We've not been on the greatest run recently, and have had a couple of poor results."

Scott Elstone could return to the side with neither Derbyshire's first nor second team having a game tomorrow, with Sam Valentine possibly the player making way.

TICKNALL also have a mid-table clash this weekend as they take on ninth-placed Alvaston & Boulton at the Grange.

ROLLESTON need to win away at Clifton to maintain any faint promotion hopes to the top flight.

Mark James' side are 45 points off the top two, but romped to victory against Cutthorpe last weekend and are still in with an outside shout of going up.

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