AN impressive captain’s knock from Marc Brown helped propel Netherfield to a commanding seven-wicket success over near neighbours Kendal – prolonging the Shap Road club’s derby agony in the process.
Brown top scored with 79 while fellow opener Ben Barrow finished unbeaten on 60 as Netherfield chased down their victory target in 42 overs, with late gloss added by a Saliya Saman cameo.
The Sri Lankan also took three wickets, including the crucial scalp of former New Zealand international Jamie How for 30, with Terry Hunte scoring 43 and Ryan Shepherd 41 as Kendal posted 190-6.
After winning the toss, Netherfield struck in the first over as Ben Harrison departed for a duck, gloving behind to John Huck after Saman extracted some vicious bounce.
How joined Darren Moore at the crease as the duo looked to rebuild the Netherfield innings, adding 60 inside 19 overs for the second wicket.
Moore took successive fours off Mark Clarkson and later drove Saman through the covers to the boundary fence while How struck Clarkson for a six over mid-wicket.
After a number of loud lbw appeals, Saman had his man in the 19th over, Barrow the grateful recipient at second slip as How departed for 30.
Moore looked in form, driving his sixth four through the covers en route to a season’s best 34, before holing out to Brad Earl at mid-on off Stuart Nixon.
Nixon returned figures of 1-39 from 12 overs and alongside Saman, who bowled unchanged for 15 overs, helped strangle the Kendal innings in the middle overs.
The home side were 85-3 after 32 overs, which meant only 25 runs were added in 12 overs since the 20th, as Hunte and Shepherd looked to give the innings some impetus.
Shepherd relieved some of the pressure with a lofted four over mid-off before swatting Nathan Chambers to the long-on boundary fence as Kendal reached three figures.
The cultured batting of Hunte played a leading part in the Kendal total, picking off seven fours in a top score of 43 as the duo shared a 60-run stand for the fourth wicket.
Clarkson claimed the wicket of Hunte, who edged behind in the 39th over, with Gary Baker joining forces with Shepherd and adding a further 37.
Saman finished with figures of 3-43 as Baker edged behind to Huck for 22 in the 47th over while Shepherd was stumped off the slow left-arm of Earl for 41.
This represented Shepherd’s highest knock of the season since arriving at Shap Road in the summer from Burneside, as Kendal finished on 190-6 from their 50-over allocation.
In reply, Netherfield openers Barrow and Brown were in imperious form and offered very few opportunities to the Kendal attack in the early stages of the innings.
Brown was the more dominant partner, driving Kendal skipper Stu Parkin for successive fours before angling Adam Cowperthwaite through mid-wicket for a boundary.
Barrow brought up the Netherfield 50 with the final ball of the 12th over with a boundary off Parkin as the Parkside Road club enjoyed their highest opening stand of the campaign.
The Netherfield skipper continued to attack, straight driving Nick Lewthwaite to the boundary rope before clobbering Chris Miller for successive sixes over mid-wicket to bring up his 50.
This was the 26-year-old’s first half century of the summer, with the visitors in complete control at 102 without loss at the halfway stage of their reply.
The opening pair’s dominance continued until Brown was trapped in front by Miller for a barnstorming 79 in the 31st over, a knock which included seven fours and three sixes.
Netherfield then endured a mini-collapse, as Ben Phillips edged Parkin behind for one while two balls later Huck fell the same way without troubling the scorers.
At 128-3, the away side were still well in command as Saman joined Barrow, who brought up his half century with a comfortable two off Parkin.
Saman clobbered the same bowler for a huge straight six and was in no mood to mess around, smashing five fours in his 35-ball stay at the crease which produced 45 runs.
He also showed his experience, mixing aggression with a batting responsibility which avoided any panic after the loss of three quick-fire wickets with Netherfield still requiring 62 runs for victory.
Alongside Barrow, who finished undefeated on 60, Saman guided Netherfield to an ultimately comfortable win with eight overs to spare, with Kendal’s losing streak against their rivals dating back to 2007.