Sandiacre destroy Dunstall to edge closer to the title

Dan Wheeldon of Sandiacre bowling against Dunstall. Photo by Russell Sheppard.
Dan Wheeldon of Sandiacre bowling against Dunstall. Photo by Russell Sheppard.

Sandiacre Town had little trouble in disposing of bottom-of-the-table Dunstall on Saturday as their title charge took a huge step forwards with just four games to go.

Town are now 49 points clear at the top and look all but guaranteed to take the title once again in the coming weeks.

On this occasion victory was largely down to four players, as Ryan McFadyean and skipper Dan Wheeldon took five wickets each in dismissing the visitors for just 102 and then batsmen Gareth Curtis and James Chapman did it all themselves in reply to see their side home inside 19 overs.

Wheeldon had won the toss and elected to field, perhaps knowing that his side could see off Dunstall relatively quickly and then hope to make light work of the response with the bat, which was precisely what occurred.

Dunstall were two down before the score had reached double figures, McFadyean sending opener Michael Graves’ bails flying for one and then Wheeldon having George Scrimshaw caught behind by Curtley Read for a duck.

Matt Cottrell was something of a saviour for Dunstall in terms of ensuring their innings wasn’t a complete disaster, his unbeaten 53 far and away the best they could muster with no other batsman passing 11.

Cottrell stood and watched as McFadyean and Wheeldon saw off all around him, Read taking three catches in total as the hosts showed little mercy. Cottrell was a tough nut to crack as he hit eight fours on his way to his half century but Dunstall were all out for 102 in the 33rd over, Mcfadyean’s figures being 5-32 off 12 overs and Wheeldon’s 5-45 off 15.

Curtis and Chapman have been providing big opening stands all season and this one of 104 won the game, Curtis unbeaten on 38 and Chapman on 48 as the win was secured with considerable ease.

Mathematically Sandiacre can’t seal the title quite yet with Quarndon up next on Saturday, but with struggling Eckington and then Ockbrook & Borrowash the visitors to Longmoor Lane in the following fortnight, the title now appears to be something of a formality.