Wingfield captain's century ends Sawley's promotion hopes
A wonderful century by captain Alex Mace enabled South Wingfield to upset the odds when they took on high-riding Sawley and Long Eaton Park in Division Two of the Derbyshire County League.
Mace fired exactly 100, off 92 balls, as the home side successfully chased down third-placed Sawley’s total of 221-9 and so ended their slim hopes of promotion.
The Wingfield skipper blasted three sixes and 14 fours in his thrilling knock and put on 135 for the second wicket with opener Ian Hopkins, who added a more circumspect 48 that featured eight boundaries.
Mace also put on 61 for the third wicket with Liam Mitchell, whose unbeaten 52 (three sixes and seven fours) off only 26 balls provided a fittingly exuberant finale to the innings.
No matter that both Mace and Hopkins were two of three batsmen to be trapped lbw by Sawley’s best bowler, Carl Cruz (3-55 from 13 overs), because Wingfield lost no other wickets at all and eased to their target with no fewer than eight overs to spare.
Earlier, Mace’s opposite number, Gary Birley, had also earned plenty of batting plaudits after top scoring for Sawley with 63. The opener occupied the crease for 122 balls, stroking seven boundaries, and shared fine stands of 79 with Marius Conway-Jones and 46 with Dave Eckersley.
Conway-Jones cracked a run-a-ball 42 (one six and five fours), while Eckersley thumped 22 (four fours) until he became the first of four victims for Wingfield’s third-change bowler, Andrew Wilson.
Wilson also bowled Birley on his way to figures of 4-39 from nine overs and although Cruz made 21 to nudge the visitors past the 200 barrier, they probably didn’t end up with as many runs as they wanted, especially as they were aided by 35 extras, including 24 wides.
As well as Wilson, there were also Wingfield wickets for Callum Spencer (2-28), Harry Brown (1-26) and Richard Briggs (1-44).