Ollie’s on fire as Town romp to away victory

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Sandiacre Town maintained their early season title challenge with a solid victory over Lullington Park who were dismissed for a below-par 188 at Longmoor Lane.

South African Martin Walters (48) and James Doherty (38) were solid, if unspectacular, in opening for Park, nevertheless they progressed to a stand of 86 before Doherty became the first of three victims for Jono Clare (3-43).

That wicket brought about three more and all of the top four batsmen were back in the pavilion with only 117 on the board.

Sam Eaton (22) and Richard Green (36) responded brightly for Park with a stand of exactly 50 for the sixth wicket but there ended the resistance as Dan Wheeldon (2-33) and Ollie Uffindall (4-25) assumed control for the hosts.

Graham Dent struck an early blow after tea by removing James Chapman but Jack Anderson (34) and a confident Swann (103*) added 71 for the second wicket and Sandiacre were on course for a comfortable win.

There was no further alarm in any great substance as the reply continued, Swann dominating and finding useful allies in both Uffindall (20) and Andy Rhodes (24*).

Swann cracked two sixes and 15 fours in all during his 124-ball stay at the crease and victory finally came by seven wickets with more than eight overs to spare.

The second XI weren’t able to echo the firsts’ achievement as Staveley Welfare scraped home by two wickets.

Sandiacre started slowly with openers Ally Leek and Dan Tucker both out cheaply, but Ben Ruhrmund (42) steadied things, as did Neil MacNamee (49) lower down the order.

But others struggled to make an impact with the bat and Sandiacre were eventually all out for 168, 31 extras helping things along and Nick van der Westhuizen claiming five wickets.

Staveley were at 10-2 early on but steadily progressed, Peter Stokes’ 34 the top innings as they passed the target withi just four balls remaining, Kev Newbold and Adam Fearnley with three wickets each.

The third XI had to make do with a losing draw at Eckington.

The hosts scored fairly well, reaching 224-5 from their 46 overs and opener Karl Field not out with 83.

Sandiacre’s top order struggled to get a grip on proceedings, however, and only when Gareth Davis (66) came to the crease did they look likely to challenge the target.

Josh Standring (38 not out) also scored well, but time ran out with Sandiacre still 29 runs short.