League leaders Sandiacre Town suffered a blow to their Derbyshire Premier League title hopes as mid-table Lullington Park secured a surprise win at Longmoor Lane on Saturday.
Town remain clear at the top of the table but their second defeat of the season will have given the chasing pack hope that any blip could blow the title race wide open.
Lullington skipper Matt Sanderson won the toss and put the home side into bat first, which ultimately proved a fine decision.
Openers Gareth Curtis and James Chapman could only make 28 before Curtis was out LBW to Jamie Goodwin to become his first of five victims.
When Chapman (28) followed with the score on 56, stumpted by keeper Oliver Melidoni off Sanderson’s bowling, it signalled something of a collapse as they went from 56-2 to 79-5, Marius Conway-Jones and Rob Cook falling for a duck and a single respectively and Andy Rhodes (13) not making too much of a dent on the scorecard either - Goodwin the man to take all three wickets.
Sandiacre had Ollie Swann to thank for giving their total an air of respectability. He came in at number three and put together a strong innings of 78 from 117 balls before being seventh man to fall with the score on 162, Ally Leek having departed earlier on for just one run.
Dan Wheeldon (2) also fell cheaply but Bill Anderson (21) and John Jordison’s unbeaten 35 from just 20 balls saw Sandiacre pass 200, eventually closing their innings on 214-9 with Ryan McFadyean also not out on 12.
When Lullington opener Andrew Goodwin was out for 12 to leave them 31-1 many would have expected Sandiacre to go on and clear the rest of the order without too much fuss.
They hadn’t allowed, however, on James Doherty and Shoaib Nasir who effectively put on a match-winning partnership of 133 for the second wicket before both fell in quick succession, Doherty bowled by McFadyean for 64 and Nasir out to a caught and bowled from Jordison for 66.
Sanderson followed for just one run soon afterwards to leave Lullington wobbling on 166-4, but Paul Dawson’s 29 left them in touching distance of victory before he was run out by Anderson’s good work in the field.
Eventually the visitors reached their target with three overs to spare and seven wickets down, two wickets each for McFadyean, Jordison and Wheeldon not enough to save the leaders from defeat.
Sandiacre’s 2nd XI fell victim to in-form West Hallam White Rose in Division Two as the hosts won convincingly by 197 runs.
Town’s Dave Jordison won the toss and opted to field but despite openers George and Martin Brandrick falling cheaply, it would be Matt Tatler who would prove the star man as his 114 moved Hallam on nicely until he was bowled by Jordan Standring having hit 20 fours in his innings.
Tom Brandrick hit a useful 33 before being out LBW to Craig Lewin and then Byron Haycock’s half century added further misery to Sandiacre as West Hallam eventually closed their innings on 275-7, Standring taking 3-63, Matt Newbold 2-60 and Lewin 1-43.
Sandiacre’s batsmen had no answer to West Hallam’s bowling attack and in particular Carl Cruz.
The Hallam spinner destroyed the visitors with six wickets for just seven runs and having bowled just 17 balls. George Domleo was Sandiacre’s top scorer with 27 but they were all out for just 78.
Sandiacre 3rd XI hosted Swanwick Hall and came away with a losing draw having won the toss and elected to field.
The visitors lost David Kershaw and Andy Wilson early but Steven Wilson’s 83 proved key, as did good innings from John Trowsdale (42) and Connor Kerry (34) as Swanwick closed on 219-5, Anthony Taylor and Jordan Halford with two wickets each.
Town didn’t look like ever getting near the target and they saw out their 46 overs with just one wicket left standing, Gareth Goodall’s 38 and skipper John Murfin’s 26 the best they could offer as they ended on 126-9.