SANDIACRE Town sacrificed their lead at the top of the Derbyshire Premier League with a surprise defeat at struggling Quarndon on Saturday.
That result, coupled with a win for Ockbrook & Borrowash against Rolls Royce Leisure, saw Sandiacre fall 23 points behind their rivals in what is increasingly becoming a two-horse race for the league title.
Sandiacre batted first at Quarndon and started promisingly, with openers James Chapman and John Trueman passing 50 before the latter was out to Sam van Daesdonk for 30.
Chapman (44) followed to the same bowler with the score on 81, but the key spell was when 103-2 suddenly became 108-5, with Matt Gouldstone (9), David Jordison (2) and Naveed Qureshi (23) all departing in quick succession.
Of the remaining batsmen, only skipper Rob Attwood showed much promise with an unbeaten 24, but those around him fell cheaply as Sandiacre were all out for 164 in 46.3 overs.
Van Daesdonk was chief tormentor with 4-45.
The Quarndon reply was dominated by Mat Dowman and Ben Spendlove.
Dowman’s fellow opener Robin Williamson fell for a duck to Dan Wheeldon with only one run on the board, but from then on the hosts took charge.
Dowman ended not out 74 as Quarndon achieved victory in the 31st over, Spendlove having been caught by Ryan McFadyean off Trueman for 71. Garry Park (20) aided Dowman in seeing Quarndon home.
THE second XI were beaten at home to Nutbrook despite a fine innings of 75 from Ben Ruhrmund helping the hosts to 228-8, Danny Green also scoring well with 40.
Nutbrook passed the total with just under three overs to spare, Ben Eaton (54) and Steven Sanderson (43) batting well, with Neil Smith unlucky to end on the losing side having taken 5 for 77.
The thirds completed a miserable weekend all round for the Longmoor Lane club as they were hammered by their counterparts from Shipley Hall.
Sandiacre were bowled out for an inadequate 123, Brian Farnsworth top scoring with 31, but Shipley’s Anthony Taylor producing an inspired spell of bowling to take 7 for 32 and leave a very achievable target.
So it proved, as Shipley romped home in the 24th over for the loss of only one wicket, John Murfin unbeaten on 75 as the hosts claimed a fine win.