SANDIACRE Town ensured the battle for this season’s Derbyshire Premier League title will go to the final weekend of the season by overcoming league leaders Ockbrook & Borrowash on Saturday.
It was the first time the visitors to Longmoor Lane had been defeated all asesaon, and owed much to the bowling of foreign stars Chesney Hughes and Ryan McFadyean.
The maximum points win now puts Sandiacre just nine behind Ockbrook ahead of this weekend’s deouble header, with Town waiting for any slip-up that might occur.
Needing the full allocation of points Sandiacre had little choice but to bat first upon winning the vital toss, and their cause was helped when Ockbrook bowler Trevor Smith pulled up injured in just his second over and could take no further part in the bowling .
Replacement Gareth Young, however, was the man to take the first wicket, James Chapman out for eight after finding the hands of George Morgan.
Anguillan star Hughes then took over, firing an excellent 44, much of it alongside opener John Trueman who was out for 24, caught by Smith off the bowling of Matt Cassar.
Hughes was out after driving Morgan to Jake Needham at cover and it was 94-3, which signalled the start of a struggle for the hosts as Naveed Qureshi fell cheaply for eight, though Matt Gouldstone (25) David Jordison (22) and later on his brother John (30) brought stability back as Sandiacre ended their innings 180-9.
Lian Wharton was top bowler for the visitors in taking 4 for 42.
The target was more than achievable for the leaders but Sandiacre were having none of it.
Cassar was out with the score on 24 after being bowled by John Jordison, and Ockbrook were two further wickets down for just two more runs scored, as first Jake Needham and then Mykylo Bird became South African McFadyean’s first victims - the latter caught by Gouldstone.
Jonny Owen hit two fours and a six in his 16 but was also out to McFadyean, and David Hallack became the Sandiacre man’s fourth and final victim with the score at just 47-5.
Only Morgan (21) showed much resistance as Ockbrook continued to struggle, finally all out for 116 to cap an 85-run win for Sandiacre.
Hughes removed opener Jonathan Guthrie for the sixth wicket and then claimed the scalps of most of the tail to finish on figures of 4 for 22. Trueman took the other wicket.
Sandiacre go to Rolls Royce Leisure on Saturday before hosting last season’s champions Lullington Park on Sunday, both noon starts.
The second XI’s hopes of promotion took a hit as their match at Ambergate was abandoned.
There had been time for Ambergate to total 204 all out from their innings, with Gareth Goodall in stunning form with the ball as he took 7 for 51.
Opener Wesley Thomas was one of Goodall’s victims but top scored with 67.
The reply lasted as long as 32 overs before the rain arrived and denied Sandiacre the chance of victory.
They were 89-4 at that stage so a win looked a tough prospect anyway, Ali Leek top scorer on 32, and they had to make do with 11 points to Ambergate’s 13.
The thirds were probably left wishing their game against Codnor had suffered the same fate as they fell to a comprehensive eight-wicket defeat, though their promotion already looks assured.
They were bowled out for just 100, Lee Colledge taking 5 for 16 as the innings lasted just 30 overs.
John Murfin scored well with 34 but apart from Adrian Taylor’s unbeaten 23, the rest of the order were disappointing.
Codnor eased to victory in 25 overs for the loss of just two wickets, Jonathan Woolley finishing not out on 43 to secure the win.