Sandiacre Town began their Derbyshire Premier League campaign in style as they eased to a five-wicket victory at Denby on Saturday.
With the hosts batting first, Sandiacre’s opening attack of Dan Wheeldon and Ryan McFadyean (2-27) caused problems for Denby’s top-order and they never properly recovered, although a 59-run partnership between the excellent Greg Cork (40*) and Paul Allen (36) at least gave their side a reasonable total to defend.
Youngsters Michael Mitchell and Will Davis attempted to hold things together but the latter became the first of four victims for John Jordison (4-34) and things went from bad to worse, 49 for 3 quickly becoming 63 for 7.
Cork’s stability, however, enabled Allen to garner 36 from only 45 deliveries and Simon Mann (13*) then managed, in the company of Cork, to move the final tally along to 148 for 9.
Sandiacre openers James Chapman and Mitch McCann (25) successfully saw off Denby’s opening salvo but a good line and length from Mann (2-21) was eventually good enough to send both openers back to the pavilion.
Allen (2-22) joined the fray and care was needed by the visitors in reaching 114 for 4 after 35 overs.
Ollie Swann (20) and Curtley Read (26) had combined effectively for the third wicket but Read’s dismissal with 35 runs still needed gave Denby a glimmer of hope.
This hope, though, was snuffed out by Andy Rhodes (25*) and new-boy Marius Conway-Jones (16*) and Sandiacre crossed the line with more than six overs to spare.
Sandiacre host Alvaston & Boulton in the league on Saturday and then Kimberley Institute in the National Club Championship on Sunday.
Sandiacre’s second XI didn’t enjoy the same fortune as the firsts as they were beaten by three wickets at home to Nutbrook.
Nutbrook arrived with a weakened side with some key players not yet available, but Steve Sanderson won the toss and put the hosts in to bat.
Ben Dawes had opener Kev Newbold with his first ball to leave Sandiacre 0 for 1 but the second wicket didn’t arrive until the score was on 91, Jack Anderson and Ben Ruhrmund building a fine stand before Anderson was out for 28.
Sandiacre then lost the next five wickets for 17 runs due to some excellent spin bowling from 14-year-old Harry Duckles and Richard Henshaw.
Ruhrmund was out for 51 as Sandiacre reached 166 all out.
Henshaw ended with 4 for 35 from 11 overs with Duckles 3 for 34, Matt Wakefield 2 for 51 and Dawes 1 for 21. Andy Farmer had a good afternoon behind the stumps with two catches and three stumpings.
Nutbrook got off to a poor start in resoonse, losing the first three wickets for 26 as they had no answer to the pace of Jay Harper and Matt Newbold.
Only Lewis Haywood with 26 showed any resistance.
The sixth wicket fell on 66 and then a stand of 46 between Danny Brooks and Henshaw ended when Brooks was out for 13.
Farmer then joined Henshaw who produced a match-winning stand of 55 to guide Nutbrook to victory with one over left, Henshaw ending 65 not out and Farmer unbeaten on 20.
Sandiacre’s thirds also fell to defeat as they were beaten at South Wingfield by eight wickets.
Sandiacre were bowled out for just 73, George Domleo top scoring with 18.
Wingfield had little trouble reaching their target, losing just two wickets - one each for Josh and Jordan Standring - and taking the 22 points.