Sandiacre maintained their good early season form by beating Marehay at Longmoor Lane on Saturday - although it was a close run thing.
The visitors won the toss and put Sandiacre in to bat, James Chapman departing early lbw to the bowling of Rob Peat with just 19 on the board, eight of them scored by Chapman.
Ollie Swann could only add five before he too was out lbw, this time to James Kyte, but Mitch McCann was in resolute mood having opened the batting alongside Chapman and would prove a tough nut for Marehay to crack as he went on to score 78, including ten fours and a six, before finally becoming Matthew White’s first victim lbw.
McCann had put on a fine stand of 87 with Rob Cook who was eventually run out for 25, Curtley Read having departed before him for 8 when caught behind off Kyte’s bowling.
Once McCann was out Sandiacre’s innings collapsed somewhat with only another 19 runs scored.
Dan Wheeldon, who would soon have a major impact on the game, scored the highest of the remaining batsmen as the hosts were bowled out for 150, White and Ben Perry-Taylor taking three wickets each.
Marehay’s reply began badly with Ben Gartside caught behind by Read off Wheeldon’s bowling just three balls in.
Matt Bailey followed, Read again claiming the catch this time from Ryan McFadyean’s delivery, and when Perry-Taylor was out for 15 and the score was 45-3, Sandiacre looked in control.
But Peat and David Buckley put on a useful stand before the latter was out for 36 and although Peat would go on to make 38, that wicket proved key.
Wheeldon was in superb form with the ball and was responsible for six of Marehay’s wickets, ending with figures of 6-44, aided by McFadyean’s 3-30 and John Jordison’s 1-18.
Marehay still needed ten runs when their ninth wicket fell but would only get six of those as McFadyean clean bowled Gareth Harry to secure Sandiacre their win by four runs and keep them second in the table.
On Sunday, Sandiacre crushed West Indian Cavaliers in the Group Three semi-final of the ECB National Club Championship.
Cavs batted first but could only manage 88 from their innings.
They struggled to score throughout with the wickets spread evenly between Wheeldon (2-24), McFadyean (2-29), Jordison (2-6), Marius Conway-Jones (2-11) and Cook (2-8).
Sandiacre reached the target in 23 overs with opener Chapman (35) and number three Swann (41) doing most of the damage to complete a nine-wicket success.
Sandiacre’s second XI had to make do with a losing draw away at Langley Mill on Saturday.
Opting to bowl first, Sandiacre saw off opening batsman Andrew Bailey early on but Jamie Salmons and Neil Wing would take the score along to 110 before Wing was out for 73, caught by Jack Anderson off the bowling of Matt Newbold.
Salmons soon followed for 26 but James Harrison (52) and, lower down the order, Danny Hanson (37) would prove tough nuts to crack as the Millers eventually ended on 252-9 from their 46 overs.
Matt Newbold took 3-38, Anthony Taylor 3-46, Kev Newbold 1-71, Jay Harper 1-45 and Andy Marlow 1-51.
Sandiacre rarely looked like reaching the target but ack Anderson’s 41 and David Jordison’s 27 helped them along as they ended their innings on 160-6 to claim some useful points.
Sandiacre third XI were beaten by 24 runs at home to Eckington.
Batting first, Eckington made 130-5, Jordan Standring with two of the wickets and one each for Matthew Pavis, Neil MacNamee and Josh Standring.
In reply, the hosts were all out for 106, Josh Standring top scoring with 30 but to no avail.