Sandiacre Town’s dominant start to the season continued as they brushed Alfreton aside at Longmoor Lane on Saturday.
It was a third successive 27 point win but it wasn’t plain sailing as, batting first, they lost James Chapman for a duck, yorked by the left-arm seam of Australian Nicholas Walden.
Walden was backed up superbly by Adam Burton who bowled an excellent ten over spell costing just 23, with John Trueman and Naveed Quershi batting carefully, the latter very quick to latch onto anything short or with a bit of width, powerfully cutting and pulling both bowlers to the boundary.
Qureshi was caught behind for 33 to Burton and Trueman followed soon afterwards, edging a cut to Alex Mace in the gully off John Clarke’s bowling.
As they seem to have done several times so far this season Matt Gouldstone and Dave Jordison, with the score 67-3, began rebuilding the innings, and they did so with consummate ease, adding 116 for the fourth wicket as both batsmen passed 50.
Alfreton needed something special to break the partnership and they found it when Andy Gwatkin brilliantly ran out Gouldstone for 57.
John Jordison then stepped up to the plate. When Dan Wheeldon had been bowled by Ben Slater for five, Jordison joined his brother in the middle with the score 192-5 and took charge, scoring 54 of the next 75 runs.
His unbeaten 54 took just 22 balls and included four fours and four sixes. It knocked the stuffing out of an otherwise spirited Alfreton side.
Realistically Sandiacre’s 267 was likely to be beyond Alfreton’s reach and sure enough Dan Wheeldon had sent both openers, Jake Simpson and Graham Bush, packing.
Gwatkin and Mace had the unenviable task of keeping out Wheeldon and new ball partner Ryan McFadyean.
They managed this quite well, Gwatkin in particular clipping several fours to leg and offering a contender for shot of the day with a drive through mid-on.
However, when Mace played his first real shot in anger, cutting away a wide long-hop from McFadyean, he could find only the safe hands of John Jordison at point.
John Clarke followed soon afterwards, again to McFadyean, and at 39-4 John Jordison was brought into the attack and he followed his runs and catches with four wickets for just 14 runs, ending Gwatkins resistance (25 from 50), trapping Dean Whitmore in front and bowling Stuart McRobert and Daniel Robbins.
His wickets sandwiched another for Wheeldon who finished with 3-27.
At 70 for 9 the writing was on the wall for Alfreton.
Burton and Walden kept Sandiacre at bay for a while, holding out for 69 balls between them, but eventually Sandiacre found a way through.
Chapman came into the attack and pushed a fuller delivery through Burton’s defences, Sandiacre wrapping up a 177-run victory as Alfreton were shot out for just 90.
l The first team were in action on Sunday too as they beat Dunstall by 16 runs in the National 20/20.
Having made 152-5, which included another quick-fire fifty from John Jordison (69* from 38 balls) and 32 from Ally Leek, Dunstall always struggled to keep up with the required rate.
Dan Wheeldon took 4-13 from his 4 overs as Dunstall came up short, and Sandiacre will meet Matlock in the group final.
The second team slipped to their second defeat of the season as they were beaten by seven wickets against their counterparts from Denby.
Batting first, Sandiacre were restricted to 169-8 from their 46 overs. The experience of Dougie Burgoyne was key as he took 4-37.
Six of Sandiacre’s batsmen made it into double figures but none made it further than Tom Priestley’s 37.
Denby rather coasted to victory, losing just three wickets and reaching their target with 21 balls to spare.
Michael Mitchell anchored the innings with an unbeaten 64.
It was a successful weekend for the third XI as they won both games of a league double header.
On Saturday they beat Stainsby Hall seconds by four wickets, chasing 178 for victory.
Stainsby’s innings were dominated by John Wood’s 77 while Paul Standring, Ben Trembling and George Domleo picked up two wickets apiece.
In reply, Sandiacre were struggling and it was left to Ben Trembling and Gareth Davis to put the run chase back on track. Trembling hit 36 and Davis 54 as Sandiacre won with four balls remaining.
On Sunday they took maximum points from their game in hand.
They beat Alfreton’s thirds by 107 runs to complete a miserable weekend for Alfreton at Longmoor Lane.
Sandiacre’s 238-7 was largely thanks to Chris Attwood’s 84 and Matt Shuttleworth’s stylish 91.
A 65 from Alfreton’s opener Adam Priestley and 28 from Phil Walters at number five kept Sandiacre at bay for a while, but when they were out Alfreton crumbled.
Their last six batsmen made just two runs between them, with Paul Standring taking 5-16 as Alfreton were all out for 131 in 41.3 overs.