Chesterfield 158 all out,
Sandiacre Town 159-5
Chesterfield’s run of recent successes came to a grinding halt on Saturday at Queen’s Park with defeat to league leaders Sandiacre Town.
It was a dour display with both sides questioning a number of decisions during the course of an ill-tempered afternoon.
But before the most potent new ball attack in the league could trouble Chesterfield, they were already a wicket down when Ben Slater was unlucky to be adjudged run out in a confusing passage of play at the non-striker’s end.
James Pipe (19) and Alex Hibbert (14) soon followed in more conventional fashion with edges off Ryan McFadyean flying through to the keeper.
Simon Lacey (24) coped with the hostile attack for over an hour until a Dan Wheeldon delivery was edged behind following which first change paceman John Jordison took two wickets in successive overs to leave Chesterfield reeling at 92-7.
Tim Kirk then marshalled the tail to good effect as the final three wickets added 66 runs with a breezy 25 from Michael Deane containing six boundaries.
Kirk batted with a masterly assurance taking the sting out of the visitors attack as his studious defence was interspersed with the efficient dispatch of the occasional wayward delivery and he had occupied the cease for over an hour accumulating 22 valuable runs before running out of partners.
Sandiacre’s spinners were not required as their three-pronged pace attack shared the spoils with McFadyean (3-54), Wheeldon (3-76) and Jordison (3-26) bowling their side into a strong position.
An early breakthrough by Deane raised Chesterfield hopes and he came close to capturing the key wicket of John Trueman who seemed fortunate to survive a big leg before appeal.
Deane extended his recent outstanding form with 15 overs of probing pace from the lake end during which spell he captured another three wickets and with the score at 98-4 Chesterfield scented success.
But Trueman still survived and shepherded his side through to what finished as a comfortable five-wicket win with the opener undefeated on 67.
Deane’s 4-57 was one of the few bright spots for Chesterfield in a disappointing day’s play that saw them slip a place to fifth in the table before the short journey to Alfreton on Saturday when they look to resume winning ways against one of the sides at the foot of the table.
Before then they have a Twenty20 match tonight against Lullington Park which will be played on Ockbrook’s Victoria Road ground with the winners going forward to the next round of the Cockspur Cup.
Chesterfield four points, Sandiacre Town 22 points
Chesterfield 2nd XI 253-6, Heanor Town 1st XI 232-6
After opting to bat first at the Town Ground, Aaron Jepson’s belligerent 56 saw Chesterfield overcome the loss of two early wickets before Rob McCarroll (67) helped Chesterfield post an impressive 253-6 with runs from Matt Davison (40), Alex Davison (25) and an undefeated 26 off the bat of Daniel Bennett.
Alistair Dixon (62) and Trevor Hessey (62) threatened to take Heanor Town to victory before Dean Hopkinson’s superb 2-45 off 14 overs and Sam Lang’s (2-73) derailed the reply with the home team finishing 24 runs short of a winning score.
The points gained from a winning draw enabled Chesterfield to take third place in the table at Heanor Town’s expense and they look to maintain their challenge on the two leaders when Ilkeston Rutland visit Queen’s Park on Saturday.
Heanor Town 12 points, Chesterfield 16 points
Chesterfield 3rd XI
(Mansfield Sunday League)
The incessant rain on Sunday put paid to any prospect of play at Queen’s Park on Sunday with the game abandoned without a ball being bowled. Eckington six points, Chesterfield six points.