Sandiacre Town opened the 2015 Derbyshire Premier League season with a winning draw at Chesterfield on Saturday.
The result owed much to a stunning opening partnership of 180 from Gareth Curtis and James Chapman, although it wasn’t enough to secure the outright win as Chesterfield saw out their innings with three wickets to spare.
The hosts had won the toss and opted to put Sandiacre into bat, a decision which quickly backfired on them as Curtis and Chapman got into their respective strides.
They regularly found the boundary as Curtis hit 74 and Chapman 90 in an opening stand that frustrated the home side.
When one fell, the other went soon afterwards. Firstly Curtis was caught behind by Mykylo Bird off the bowling of Ross Whiteley and then Chapman fell to the same bowler, Nitish Kumar the fielder this time as Chapman was out just ten runs short of his century.
Sandiacre then saw out their 50 overs without really finding the same kind of groove as their opening pair, Ollie Swann next to fall with the score on 206 as he was bowled by Brian Gladwin for a confident 24.
Gladwin would be the visitors’ nemesis as he also claimed the last two wickets to fall, Rob Cook lbw for 3 and Marius Conway-Jones caught by Alex Hibbert for nine.
Alex Rhodes and Curtley Read steadied the ship and put on 40 for the sixth wicket as the Sandiacre innings closed on 264-5, Gladwin having taken 3-32 and Whiteley 2-48.
Chesterfield themselves had an opening pair in good form as Hibbert and Bird began strongly and made 77 before Bird was lbw to John Jordison for 24.
Jordison also saw off replacement Kumar for just four runs and then sent Hibbert’s stumps flying too, the opener having made 45.
But Whitely came in at number four and proved a stubborn customer for the visitors, hitting 71 from 82 balls to take Chesterfield on to 209 before he was next man out, bowled by Dan Wheeldon.
Sandiacre then swiftly saw off Matthew Higginbotham as he was run out for a golden duck following good work by Swann in the field, and Mathew Roberts soon followed having enjoyed a good partnership with Whiteley, Ryan McFadyean trapping him lbw with the score on 210.
Sam Lang became Wheeldon’s second victim on 215 as he found the hands of McFadyean but the final pair of Drage Thompson and Louis Hurst saw out the final overs as Chesterfield closed on 226-7 to gain ten points to Sandiacre’s 17.
Jordison ended with figures of 3-25, Wheeldon 2-77 and McFadyean 1-33.
Sandiacre’s second XI began their Division Two campaign with a losing draw at home to Langley Mill Utd.
The visitors were asked to bat first and after ten overs were 37 without loss beforePaul Bailey (15) became Gareth Goodall’s first victim of the year.
This brought Jamie Salmons to the crease and he helped push the Millers past the hundred mark, but soon after Lewis Pinder fell for a patient but well crafted 49 to the bowling of Jordan Halford.
Simon Lacey joined Salmons and these two pushed on and after 36 overs the Millers where 141 for 3.
In pushing on a couple more wickets fell, firstly Salmons (42) as he was stumped by Bill Anderson off the bowling of Anthony Taylor who then sent Lacey’s stumps flying for 35.
But Daniel Hanson (53) and Jack Scott (27*) hit some lusty blows to accelerate the score well past 200, Hanson finally falling on the last ball of the innings as Langley Mill ended on 252-6.
For Sandiacre, Taylor took 2-63, Goodall 1-53, Halford 2-70 and Kev Newbold 1-39.
After ten overs of their Sandiacre where 35 for 3 and shaking, but a mini partnership between Dave Jordison (59) and Anderson (36) helped them recover.
Alistair Leek (54) was also in good form but a flurry of wickets reduced Sandiacre to 198-8 before time ran out for the hosts and a draw was confirmed.