Opening pair hit centuries
as Sandiacre romp to win

James Chapman on his way to a century on Saturday.
James Chapman on his way to a century on Saturday.
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Sandiacre Town openers Gareth Curtis and James Chapman were in stunning form as the Derbyshire Premier League leaders beat Alvaston & Boulton by 164 runs at Longmoor Lane on Saturday.

The victory was largely down to three outstanding performances, with Curtis and Chapman hitting 145 and 102 respectively in a 222-run opening stand, then Rob Cook taking 5-21 to help bowl the visitors out for just 134 in reply.

Alvaston skipper Steve Stubbings won the toss and opted to put the home side into bat; it was a decision he’d soon regret.

Curtis and Chapman immeidately set about smashing the Alvaston & Boulton attack to all corners of the ground, Curtis in particular taking no prisoners as he hit five sixes and 13 fours on his way to 145, Chapman finding the boundary 14 times himself before being the first man out off the bowling of Tom Knight.

By then, much of the damage was done and Ollie Swann stood and admired Curtis at the other end as he continued to score runs before finally finding the hands of Kironpal Dorka to signal the end of a fine knock.

Swann (17 not out) and Cook (3 not out) saw the 50 overs out with Sandiacre ending on 298-3, Andy Rhodes the other batsman involved but he lasted just two balls.

Alvaston were in trouble right from the off, quickly reduced to 5-2 as Dan Wheeldon saw off both Chris McIlroy (2) and Rahib Ali for a duck, Knight then out lbw to Ryan McFadyean to leave the visitors 17-3 and staring defeat in the face.

Stubbings’ resolute 39 steadied the ship a little, and after Chapman took the first of two catches to see off Hamid Qadri off Marius Conway-Jones’ bowling to leave A&B 59-4, Stubbings followed with the score on 108 to signal a fatal collapse.

Despite Ollie Saffell taking the initiative and hitting an unbeaten 43, others fell around him with alarming regularity, Cook in particular on form as having been the man to dismiss Stubbings he then wiped out four of the last five batsmen, McFadyean returning to take the final wicket of Adam Wheatcroft and secure the points for Sandiacre who are now 15 clear of second-placed Spondon.

On Monday, Sandiacre were defeated by Chesterfield in Group B of the Premier T20 Cup competition, but only just.

Having reduced Chesterfield to 153-5 from their 20 overs, Mykylo Bird 88 not out, Sandiacre fell just short in reply, Cook’s unbeaten 52 the highlight as the overs ran out with just three runs needed for victory.

Later in the afternoon, Sandiacre then beat Swarkestone in the day’s second match, as having reduced Swarkestone to 106-8 they reached the target inside 12 overs to win by eight wickets.

Sandiacre’s third XI faced two matches over the weekend but lost them both.

On Saturday they were all out for 167 against Staveley Welfare, Ashley Brown top scoring with 48, before Staveley lost just three wickets in reaching their target to claim the win.

Then at Selston Town on Sunday Sandiacre were bowled out for 139 with Tom Rigby this time top scoring with 32 not out, but Selston eased to victory with five wickets to spare.