Sandiacre Town moved up to second place in the early Derbyshire Premier League standings after a three wicket win over Spondon at Longmoor Lane on Saturday.
They had to be at their best to overcome a side who had enjoyed a fine start to the season themselves, the national club champions edging to victory having batted second.
Ben Ashdown provided the first tough nut for Sandiacre to crack as he opened for the visitors along with Josh Brear who was first man to fall when he edged skipper Dan Wheeldon behind in the ninth over with wicket keeper Curtley Read taking a spectacular catch.
Ashdown and Graeme Tryon moved Spondon on to 61 before the latter was run out having scored 15, Read and John Jordison combining to remove the bails as Tryon opted to add to a single with a needless second run which proved costly.
Ashdown’s innings ended soon afterwards for 35 as he skied a shot from Wheeldon’s bowling to Ryan McFadyean who gratefully accepted at mid off.
A similar catch from McFadyean saw Alistair Dixon out off Jordison’s bowling and after Kashif Hussain became Jordison’s next victim with a caught and bowled, the visitors were 73-5.
That would be Jordison’s last notable act as he retired hurt with a hamstring strain, his batting prowess thankfully not then required later in proceedings.
Skipper Joe Ashdown edged Marius Conway-Jones behind to Read and then David Tittershill sent a McFadyean delivery straight back into the South African’s hands to depart for 23 and Spondon were now 135-7, Conway-Jones also seeing off Chris Windmill soon afterwards.
Another run out saw off Paul Allen after a mix-up with Waseem Fazal, the final wicket to fall being that of Tom Williams who skied a Conway-Jones ball straight into the hands of Read and Spondon were all out for 156.
Conway-Jones ended with figures of 3-24, Wheeldon 2-43, Jordison 2-20 and McFadyean 1-47.
In reply, Gareth Curtis and James Chapman opened strongly, making their way to 50 inside 11 overs before Chapman found Ben Ashdown at mid on from Allen’s delivery to be the first wicket down.
Curtis followed for 26 with the score on 81 and then Conway-Jones was run out thanks to a direct hit from Tryon.
Swann was top scorer for Sandiacre on 28 but fell to the bowling of Windmill, quickly followed by Rob Cook who edged to slip which left Sandicare wobbling at 126-6.
But Wheeldon knuckled down and along with Read added 26 before the latter found the hands of Fazal from Tryon’s delivery.
But only five more were needed and John Trueman and Wheeldon provided them to seal the victory and put unbeaten Sandiacre ten points behind early leaders Swarkestone with four games played.
Sandiacre seconds held on to claim a losing draw at South Wingfield.
Having won the toss and elected to field, Sandiacre paid the price as opening pair Ian Hopkins and Chris Dunn laid into the visiting attack, making their way to 152 before Dunn was first man out for 74, caught by David Jordison off the bowling of Jordan Halford.
Wingfield passed 200 before wickets began to fall more steadily, going from 202-1 to 219-5, Hopkins among those to fall for 86 and Matt Newbold taking all four of the scalps to end with 4-50.
South Wingfield eventually closed on 246-6, Kyle Mitchell last to fall with Halford the bowler again to claim 2-57.
Sandiacre lost Ben Ruhrmund early on, lbw to Gary Coxhead, indeed their first four wickets would all be lbw with Coxhead taking three of them.
George Domleo was key to Sandiacre avoiding defeat, his 70 off 135 balls helping them along to 153-7 at close of play, useful knocks from David Jordison (24) and Tom Priestley (21) also aiding their cause.
Sandiacre thirds saw their clash at home to Belper Meadows cancelled due to an unfit surface at Breaston.