Derbyshire 177 and 413-6 (Hughes 122, Madsen 90, Godleman 66 not)
Derbyshire lead by 72 runs
There was a much better effort by Derbyshire in the second innings today, but one that will almost certainly, barring a miracle of biblical proportions tomorrow, result in another four-day defeat.
While there's Billy there is hope, but we have a long way to get to a total that would worry the home side too much on a wicket that has been largely blameless throughout. That, of course, makes our first innings collapse all the more lamentable.
There was another fine century from Chesney Hughes that took him within 200 runs of a thousand in the season for the first time, while Wayne Madsen moved to within 140 of that target before being dismissed on 90. While they were together, hopes of a draw were briefly entertained, but after the partnership ended the procession began.
Billy Godleman had recovered from yesterday's indisposition to bat solidly through to the close, but the departure of Shiv Thakor before the close left Derbyshire with a mountain to climb on the last day.
Disappointingly, both Hamish Rutherford and Neil Broom failed to put on a score of any size and their continued poor returns must be a concern to both. It certainly is for supporters, as we have two players in who the club invested faith and no little money averaging only 27 runs each with the bat.It isn't enough, something that they will be aware of and they need to take us through to to RLODC knock outs now to be deemed anything approximating a success.
Were a four-day side being picked tomorrow night, one of them would almost certainly miss out in favour of Ben Slater. As it stands, the Chesterfield batsman should be given serious consideration for the fifty-over competition, simply based on his stunning form in that format of late.
More from me tomorrow, but I could quite possibly write the report tonight...