SANDIACRE Town ended their season in the strongest possible fashion - but Ockbrook & Borrowash doing the same meant it was they who ended the campaign Derbyshire Premier League Champions.
Sandiacre ended up just four points behind their rivals, the top two over 130 points ahead of third-placed Spondon following a remarkable season for both sides.
The onus was always on Ockbrook to finish the job, with Sandiacre relying on any slip up if they were to take top spot.
On Saturday at Rolls Royce they took maximum points after their declared score of 248-7 proved too much for the hosts to overcome.
James Chapman starred with a fine 98 before falling to Shahzada Khan, while Matt Gouldstone provided a useful 40 in a steady innings for the visitors.Khan was top bowler with 3 for 83.
John Trueman was Rolls Royce’s arch enemy as he took five wickets in the reply, ending with figures of 5 for 54 as Sandiacre bowled their opponents out for 201. John Jordison (2), Neil Smith and Ryan McFadyead also got in on the act.
But Ockbrook’s expected, and comfortable, win at home to Alfreton meant it would be a final day nailbiter, with Sandiacre at home to Lullington Park and Ockbrook away at Chesterfield.
With the leaders winning by six wickets, Sandiacre’s efforts were to be in vain, but they finished on a high nevertheless.
Again batting first in an attempt to gain the maximum total possible, they accumulated 212-6 from their 50 overs, John Jordison this time catching the eye with 61, ably assisted by Trueman on 46, Naveed Qureshi 48 and Gouldstone’s 38.
Jordison then proceeded to rip through most of Lullington Park’s batting line-up, claiming fine figures of 6 for 29 as Sandiacre won by 20 runs.
McFadyean took two wickets with the others going to Chapman and Chesney Hughes.
The second XI’s hopes of promotion never materialised as an abandoned encounter with Shipley Hall on Saturday was followed by defeat at Belper Meadows on Sunday.
Saturday saw Sandiacre bat first and finish 182 all out, Ben Ruhrmund (67) and Matt Swann (58) both scoring well, though Danny Haddon’s figures of 4 for 40 proved vital.
Shipley had reached 121-6 before the rain arrived, Jono Clare taking 3 for 45.
Sunday’s finale proved something of a whimper from the seconds. Belper batted first and notched 207-6 from their 46 overs, Kevin Newbold’s 3 for 72 the highlight of the bowling figures.
But the batting line-up faltered somewhat, as they were dismissed for just 86 runs, and that was largely down to number nine Neil Smith whose innings of 30 prevented it from being an even lower score.
The seconds finished third in Division Two and can be confident of progressing further next year.
There was celebration for the third XI as they sealed promotion from Division Six North.
Their success was virtually sealed before a ball was even bowled, with Codnor, the only team who could catch them, needing not only a 27-point win but also a disastrous zero-points defeat from Sandiacre to finish level on points.
Codnor did their bit, but Sandiacre comfortably disposed of Langley Mill, already crowned champions.
Batting first, Sandiacre scored 151 all out, John Murfin leading the way with 71 before those below him struggled to make an impact. Ryan Cox took 3 for 16 and Alex Bacon 5 for 42 for the Millers.
But Anthony Taylor then took centre stage with the ball, as his seven wickets for just 11 runs destroyed the batting line-up and ensured Langley Mill ended up all out for 89. Paul Standring and Paul Chambers shared the other wickets.