UTTOXETER bounced back from their disappointing defeat to Winshill with an excellent victory over Rolleston 2nds.
Playing at Abbotsholme due to the unavailability of their Racecourse home, Adam Johnson was the main difference between the sides.
The big-hitter crashed a bruising century in Uttoxeter’s total of 195 all out before skipper Mike Skelham grabbed six wickets as the Willowers were dismissed for just 81 in reply.
Victory leaves Skelham’s men fourth in Division Five South of the Derbyshire County League as they look to bag back-to-back promotions this season.
After winning the toss, Rolleston skipper Nick Goode elected to bowl first hoping to extract some early movement from a green-tinged wicket.
The early signs were good for the hosts as Tony Hayes (12) hit his first ball for four, but Ashley Young was soon trapped in front by Andy Cooper (3-56).
Mick Hall followed for a duck, dismissed by a rearing ball from the experienced John Thomson (3-32).
When Hayes drove straight to Liam Goode at cover, Uttoxeter were in trouble at 19-3.
Ben Brown, though, joined Johnson and they put on 87 for the fourth wicket.
Johnson smashed Cooper out of the attack before losing Brown (12) just before he recorded his century.
He reached three figures with a massive six over mid-wicket that went through the back window of his car!
“I didn’t know whether to celebrate or commiserate,” he said afterwards.
The big-hitting former Lullington Park man had crashed four sixes and 13 fours in his 102 before he holed out to Louis Burrows in the deep off the bowling of Sam Ford (3-35).
Johnson’s dismissal signalled something of a collapse as Uttoxeter fell from 150-4 to 195 all out – which still looked a decent score.
And Rolleston’s reply was soon in trouble after tea as Johnson and Skelham opened with hostility.
Johnson bowled Jack Sanderson for a duck and then Skelham had Burrows caught in the gully by Johnson.
The talented Tom Yates also fell in the gully, snaffled by Brown off Johnson, and the visitors were in real trouble at 26-3. It soon became 26-4 with an identikit dismissal of Ian Wakefield.
These wickets seemed to destroy any hope of a Rolleston win and Skelham started to turn the screw as his spell of bowling went from strength to strength, removing the next five wickets for 50 runs, clean bowling four of his victims as he bowled very straight, moving the ball both ways.
Skelham finished with outstanding figures of 6-40, with Rory Middleton replacing Johnson (3-14) and finding immediate success with the dismissal of the dangerous Dan Clarke, caught behind for a duck.
There was little resistance down the order, with the highest score of 17 made by both Nick and Liam Goode.
The real difference between the sides, though, was Johnson, who was the only batsman in the match to get past 17.
UTTOXETER 2nds claimed top spot in Derbyshire County League Division Nine South with a decent performance against a strong Rolls Royce 3rds side.
After a rapid start from Ilyas Mohammed (15), who hit Dave Hunt for a six and a four in the first over, Uttoxeter got on top.
Luke Bull (5-29) bowled a fine 14-over spell, with the key dismissal that of Mohammed Mahroof (56), who had stood firm while those around him fell.
Royces closed on 153-9 and Uttoxeter’s reply began slowly, with the previous week’s double centurion, Tom Wheeldon, dismissed for just 15. Stan Maxwell and Ian Bailey were also back in the pavilion with just 35 on the board.
But Richard Griffiths hit a crucial 33 in tandem with David Powell-Jones (34) before the former had to retire hurt with a torn calf muscle.
Skipper Dave Whitehead (20no) took his side over the line to take the 27 points on offer.