THERE have been countless bitterly fought derbies between Chorley and old rivals Darwen over the years.

And while Saturday’s game can hardly been ranked among the classics, it provided ample entertainment for a healthy Windsor Park crowd, the majority of whom went home happy enough despite the home side just failing to force the win.

If they had earned victory, it would have arguably been just about deserved by Ian Dickinson’s after they twice forced their way back into the game from a position where things looked decidedly shaky.

On the first of those occasions, the home side had thrown away the advantage of a solid start which saw a very nice 63 by Stuart Naden.

The middle order collapse which has again this season been a frustrating feature of Chorley’s otherwise excellent form appeared again as they subsided to 123-7.

But Kieran McCullagh and Jack Bentham led a bracing counter attack which hoisted the total to 185-9, a formidable target on a wicket which offered plenty assistance to the bowlers.

Teatime optimism seemed misplaced as visiting opener David Bowden defied Chorley and as he passed his half-century, Darwen reduced their target to less than 100 with nine wickets in hand.

But then came their own collapse, an acrobatic caught and bowled by the seasoned Ian Oakes dismissing visiting pro Shrikant Wagh and inspiring his colleagues to greater heights.

They didn’t do quite enough to earn the win but the 10 points earned from a winning draw keeps Chorley hot on the heels of the top two.

• Sundays’ Readers Cup clash against Preston fell victim to the rain after the visitors had reached 45-3. The game will be replayed this Sunday.