LULLINGTON Park earned 10 invaluable points from a creditable draw with Denby – having looked at one stage as if they could win.
Michael Mitchell and Brad Davis opened up with a stand of 61 for Denby as Park's seam attack found little help from a slow pitch.
Paul Dawson, making a surprise early return from a broken thumb, made the breakthrough having Davis stumped by stand-in keeper Tom Caron for 37, Richard Green opting not to keep wicket because of a knee problem.
It was off spinner Matt Sanderson who took the next three wickets.
He had fellow off spinner Peter Burgoyne caught by Caron for 19 and Derbyshire's Greg Cork caught by Jonny Shales for five.
Denby skipper Joe Greenhalgh gave Caron a second stumping, having made a run-a-ball 17.
Denby were now 144-4 and the innings was being held together by Mitchell, who passed 50 in 110 balls before starting to accelerate.
He was well supported by Alexander Eyre as the former Clay Cross batsman made a rapid 25 in a partnership of 61.
Three wickets fell in the 50th over.
Mitchell was caught on the long on boundary by Martin Walters off Nick Richards for 86 and the South African then made two accurate throws to run out Eyre and Dan Burgoyne.
The Denby score of 207 looked a competitive total given the home side's strong bowling attack led by Cork and Derbyshire's Academy captain Will Davis.
It was Davis who struck in the first over inducing a leading edge from Jamie Goodwin to take an easy return catch.
Green had made 27 out of the first 38 when he misjudged the pace of a short ball from Cork and was well caught on the long leg boundary by Davis.
When Davis bowled Walters for three, Park were in trouble at 43-3.
Caron and in-form Sanderson added 38 until Caron became frustrated by Greenhalgh's tight spin bowling and skied to Fraser Kirk. He had made 20.
Greenhalgh put his faith in his own spin and that of Burgoyne but Sanderson and James Doherty had little trouble with the slow turning ball and added 73 so that Park, at 154-4, looked on for a win.
The Denby captain then turned back to Davis who struck immediately, snaring Doherty as he mistimed a drive to Greenhalgh himself at mid on for 30.
Jonny Shales joined Sanderson and the target still looked in sight until Sanderson's fine knock came to an end as he was caught at cover by Zander Eyre off Davis for 66.
Dawson was quickly run out but Shales (24*) and Bill Arnold held out without serious problems, leaving Park only 12 short of the target.
Park now need only seven points from their final two matches to ensure safety.
As they play fellow relegation rivals Marehay on Saturday, it will be enough to avoid defeat.
Park will take nothing for granted on a ground where they have tasted defeat in the cup this season.