Tense finale as Chesterfield and Alfreton lock horns

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Rivals Chesterfield and Alfreton battled it out in the Derbyshire Premier on Saturday.

With more than points at stake at Queen’s Park, the action went down to the very last ball of the match.

The picture above shows Chesterfield’s players apply pressure by surrounding the bat for the last ball of Alfreton’s innings.

With the visitors nine down and chasing Chesterfield’s total, Alfreton’s last wicket pairing of Callum Spencer and Richard Briggs are asked to hold their nerves in what proved to be a tense day’s play for both Derbyshire Premier sides.

Both camps had their say on the game...

Defiant last wicket stand frustrates Chesterfield, writes Mike Taylor.

Chesterfield failed to win a game against the team at the bottom of the league, with a disappointing display at Queen’s Park.

A stuttering start became a crisis when Chesterfield’s talismanic Ben Slater was caught behind for 26 and two more quick dismissals left the site floundering at 57-5.

Paul Burdett shepherded his side on to 167 when he was last man out for an invaluable 57 but the total looked well below par and Chesterfield compounded their problems by handing an extra eight overs to their opponents.

Matt Higginbottom soon revived Chesterfield’s chances with a three wicket burst to leave Alfreton on 7-3 which became 16-4 as Michael Deane opened his account.

But Anthony Mosca held firm and the Australian opener saw his side on to 102 before the return of Higginbottom accounted for Andy Gwatkin for 32, and when Mosca was caught out for 52 trying to lift Lacey over the infield, Alfreton were in trouble at 102-6.

Chesterfield chipped away as Alfreton slipped to 136-9 but the win proved illusive as the final pair held out for 55 balls.

Higginbottom and Deane bowled 15 overs apiece for figures of 4-38 and 3-41 while Simon Lacey took 2-41 off his 45 overs.

Chesterfield recorded 14 points, Alfreton recorded ten points.

Chesterfield are back in league action on Saturday when they travel to league leaders Oakbrook and Borrows before playing a rescheduled Premier Twenty 20 group final against Marehay.

Alfreton left to reflect on what might have been, writes Daniel Robbins.

Alfreton are still searching for their first league win of the season despite coming close once again on Saturday, against Chesterfield at Queen’s Park.

Chasing down 168 to win, the visitors fell 19 runs short but will be happy with the ten-point haul they took away from the weekend. After winning the toss, captain Alex Mace decided to bowl, a decision that backfired early on as Chesterfield raced to 35-0.

Mykylo Bird was the first batsman to fall, which started a flourish of wickets, as he was caught by Jake Simpson off the bowling of Richard Briggs.

Elliot Savidge (3-21) then impressed by taking the wickets of Ben Slater, Matt Fletcher and Simon Lacey. And with Briggs (3-32) taking the wickets Drage Thompson and Tim Kirk. Paul Burdett and Matt Higginbottom rebuilt before the latter was LBW to Andy Gwatkin (2-34).

Burdett wasn’t done there though and he was eventually the last man to fall for 57, he had guided his side to 167 all out. In reply, Alfreton’s chase began badly as they fell to 16-4, Higginbottom picking up three of the four wickets to fall. Anthony Mosca (52) and Andy Gwatkin (32) shared in an 86-run partnership.

However, when both fell in quick succession the momentum swung once more.

John Aspinall (19) and Savidge (11) kept Alfreton in the hunt but further wickets fell and the away side were left to play the last five overs nine down. Callum Spencer and Briggs ensured the losing draw for Alfreton and a point haul of ten but the feelings leaving the ground were that it could have been a lot more.