The game was only three balls old when an umpire’s finger gave Rutland’s 1st XI that all too familiar sinking feeling.
David Smit, their only batsman within the top 50 Premier League run-getters this season, offered no shot to a ball that cut back from Michael Deane and his huge stride forward did not put sufficient doubt in the umpire’s mind.
It was one of four decisions that gave Rutland’s fallen cause for complaint on another day when partnerships proved to be short-term arrangements.
Only two were worth more than 30 runs - the third wicket stand between Alex Park (29) and Andy Flindall (10) and a tenth wicket flurry.
At 53 for 2 there was cause for some optimism. Flindall had put the untidy Johny Marsden away for a four and a six but was then surprised to be given out caught behind off the same bowler.
The impressive Deane, once of Derbyshire, had Park snicking behind and removed the assured-looking Rob Green with a perfect bail-clipping seamer.
His fifth and final wicket was Tom Brandrick (15) who had put him away for three boundaries before being given LBW attempting another through the leg side.
He was unhappy with his decision and so was Ian Banks who was given LBW advancing down the wicket to the spin of Simon Lacey.
Danny Shelton, back after six weeks recovering from shin problems, had begun to settle but on 14 offered Lacey a straight-forward caught and bowled and Rutland were 101 for 8.
With Deane out of the attack, Chesterfield did not pose so many problems allowing Rutland’s tail to wag a little before Danny Bobeszko, who had looked good for his 25, was yorked by junior leg spinner Sam Lang. Ross Slater was left on 17.
Defending a target of 147 was always going to be difficult and with Green out of the attack due to hamstring trouble, most observers would have expected Chesterfield to gallop home.
Instead they were bamboozled by the tactic of Bobeszko opening the attack with his off spin.
Matt Fletcher got a leading edge which Bobeszko plucked one-handed from over his head and both Ben Slater and Alex Hibbert showed immense respect.
The arrival of keeper Drage Thompson at 56 for 2 from 18 overs changed all that. He tucked into the bowling like it was trifle at tea time, hitting 64 not out from just 39 balls including five sixes.
For Rutland, defeated by six wickets, Banks returned the best figures with 2 for 16 and Bobeszko’s 15 over spell was spoilt by the last three which Thompson hit for 30.
Rutland’s 2nd XI removed the threat of relegation and moved up to ninth place in Division 4 North with a comprehensive dismantling of Riddings.
Opening bowler Chris Palfreyman, the division’s highest wicket taker, returned figures of 5 for 41 and Chris Trueman Jnr a season’s best 4 for 40, as Riddings collapsed to 82 all out.
The new ball pair were supported by the team’s best fielding display of the year with Aidan Smith outstanding, George Brandrick holding a stinger and keeper Adam Slater claiming three catches.
Contented captain Martin Brandrick then snuffed Riddings out with an unbeaten 32 and the returning Darren Cundy hit 25 in the nine wicket win.
The best player turn-out of the season meant the 3rd XI took an experienced side to face top of the table Wirksworth in Division 8 North.
Asked to bat first they made a decent start with the chalk and cheese pairing of Alan Chambers and Joe Bird.
To the surprise of very few, Bird (19) was first to go but a 42-run stand between Chambers and 2nd XI regular Ryan Clarke put Rutland in the ascendancy at 72 for 1. Clarke was then given LBW for 24 sparking a collapse to 109 for 5.
Chambers (40) was the sixth wicket to fall and it was down to Max Sugarman (35) to give the score some credibility at 176 for 9.
Wirksworth 2nd XI batted like a team that expected to win and they saw off Rutland’s attack easing to victory by seven wickets.
The 3rd XI now need to win their last two matches to have any hope of survival.