JOHN Huck put in a captain’s performance as he struck an unbeaten 99 to give Netherfield a comfortable 115-run victory over Darwen.
Having been asked to bat first, Netherfield scored at a healthy run rate although their start wobbled when Ben Haddrick was caught by Scott Jackson off Nathan Jackson for eight in the fourth over, leaving Netherfield 15-1.
Marc Brown entered the fray and he put on a partnership of 49 with Chris Parry before the latter was caught by Shaun De Kock off Nathan Jackson for a healthy 31 off 39 balls.
In came Huck and his partnership of 82 with Brown put ‘Field firmly in the driving seat. Huck, standing in as captain in place of John Mason, struck nine fours and five sixes throughout his innings, with Brown unluckily run out on 54 after a direct hit by Scott Jackson.
With Netherfield 146-3 in the 32nd over, wickets started to fall regularly and after Huck at number four the highest score was six runs by Bradley Earl. Sub-pro Mitchell Claydon hit just three after he was controversially ruled LBW off Alex Davis for three.
De Kock was pick of the bowlers for Darwen with 4-55, with Nathan Jackson close on 3-48, as Netherfeild were bowled out for 226 in the 50th and final over.
In reply Netherfield got off to a great start when wicketkeeper Huck caught Davis for nought in the second over, and when De Kock was bowled LBW by Claydon for one the Birch Hall outfit were struggling on 8-2 in the third over.
Netherfield were economic in their bowling attack and by the time John Cordingley was inrtroduced to the attack at number five, Darwen were 22-4 in the 12th over.
John Cordingley put on a partnership of 52 with his brother Gareth before the latter was run out by Stuart Nixon for 23 to leave Darwen 74-5.
Marc Hadwin began to turn the screw for ‘Field from this point and he added the wickets of Sam Munns (nought) and Nathan Jackson (nine) and John Cordingley (40) to claim figures of 3-19, marginally worse than Chris Williams’ 3-18, which included numbers two to four in Darwen’s batting line-up.
Darwen were skittled out for 111 with 10 overs remaining to give Netherfield a victory which guarantees them a fifth-place finish in the Northern Premier League this season.