SANDIACRE Town’s hopes of closing the gap on league leaders Ockbrook & Borrowash were thwarted once again on Saturday - and this time it was the rain that got in their way.
Their clash at home to Chesterfield was abandoned at the end of the visitors’ innings, meaning Sandiacre were unable to bat and each side was handed ten points.
And with Ockbrook suffereing the same fate in their match at Quarndon and also being awarded ten points, it’s ‘as you were’ at the top of the table.
The situation was all the more frustrating for Sandiacre as it looked as though they were well on the way to recording a victory.
In Chesterfield’s 45 overs they had only managed to score 110 runs, with bowlers Ryan McFadyean and John Jordison in particularly good form.
McFadyean saw off three of the top four batsmen as Chesterfield were at one point reduced to 16-3, with only an innings of 42 from Matthew Fletcher helping the score along to anything resembling a competitive total.
McFadyead finished with 4 for 16, while Jordison struck lower down the order to finish with 3 for 32.
Dan Wheeldon and John Trueman took the other wickets.
But the rain took hold in the break and there was no choice but to abandon the match and deny Sandiacre the chance to score the fairly low total required for victory.
The second XI had better luck as they made light work of beating Aston-on-Trent, thanks mainly to a devastating display in the field.
Their hosts were bowled out for only 47 runs, with only Mehmoon Tariq able to reach double figures on 19.
The bowlers had a field day, with Andrew Marlow taking 4 for 16, Neil Smith 3 for 12 and Jono Clare of great value in taking three wickets for the loss of just four runs.
The target was met in just nine overs and for the loss only of Praveen Chandran, who was out for 27.
But Danny Green and Matthew Swann finished the job and the points were comprehensively Sandiacre’s as they continue their push for promotion from Division Two.
The third XI remain top of Division Six North despite defeat at Chesterfield Barbarians, though they have played two games more than most of the chasing pack.
Saturday’s loss came after they had been reduced to 129-7 in their 46 overs by their hosts at Tibshelf, an innings rescued largely by innings of 29 not out from number seven Gareth Davis and 27 from number eight John Rigby, who helped salvage things from a worrying 49-5 at one point.
Sean Hoole was the top bowler with 3 for 31.
Chesterfield were able to reach the target, but only just.
A good opening stand of 52 between Jack Fletcher and David Atkin was ended when the former was out lbw to Matthew Harrop for 39.
And that signalled something of a collapse as 52-1 soon became 69-6, with Harrop taking two more wickets and Paul Chambers also getting in on the act.
But Chesterfield too had some guile lower down their order and Steve Vine hit 21 and Hoole 23 not out to take them into triple figures, with Malc Straw accompanying Hoole over the line with eight wickets down to seal the win for the home side.
Chambers finished with 3 for 20, Harrop 3 for 26, and there were also a couple of wickets for Paul Standring (2-26).
The thirds now have just two matches remaining to try and maintain their promotion hopes.