SANDIACRE Town’s hopes of pursuing another title challenge were dealt a blow at the first hurdle as they fell to defeat at Chesterfield in their opening match.
It was a close affair, the hosts only edging home with two wickets to spare, but a disappointing start for the Longmoor Lane club who were runners-up in the Derbyshire Premier League last year.
Sandiacre batted first and had new signing Oliver Uffindall in good form as he made a half century (58), supported well by Dan Wheeldon with a knock of 52 achieved in just 38 balls and including three sixes as Town scored 185-9.
Michael Deane and Simon Lacey both took three wickets for Chesterfield.
The highlight of Chesterfield’s reply was the unbeaten century from Paul Burdett, who almost single-handedly won the game for his side given the low scores of the majority who batted alongside him, only Deane (23) and Johnny Marsden (25) at the bottom of the order reaching double figures.
Wheeldon was Sandiacre’s main weapon with the ball as he took 4-60, with John Jordison (2-31), Jono Clare (1-32) and Ryan McFadyean (1-43) also weighing in, but it was the hosts who hung on.
l Sandiacre’s second XI started but didn’t finish against Ockbrook & Borrowash, though having only managed 58-8 the rain that followed may well have done them a favour - the match abandoned after just 29 overs.
l The third XI’s match at Alfreton was cancelled.