Chesterfield CC in relegation fight after heavy loss to Ocbrook and Borrowash
Chesterfield had a major player availability problem for their home game against Ockbrook and Borrowash CC at the Queen's Park on Saturday.
The non-availability of their four county players, their overseas player and their leading wicket taker meant that the match against a very strong side would be difficult.
This turned out to be the case as they subsequently suffered a 200-run defeat.
The home side won the toss and decided to field. The opening bowlers, Michael Deane - playing despite an ongoing achilles problem - and debutant Jamie O’Connor started well.
O’Connor claimed his first wicket when he had Joshua Clarke hooking a bouncer to long leg where Callum Hiron took a magnificent catch – one of those steepling ones which hang in the air.
At 14-1 Chesterfield were in the game and if a couple of difficult catches had been held they could have been in a better position.
Deane and O’Connor continued to bowl well restricting the score to 37-1 after ten overs. Rahib Ali and Ryan Bramwell cashed in on their early good fortune with a stand of 132 which was a textbook demonstration of building a base for their colleagues.
Both played really well with Bramwell playing several off drives which were as good as you will see anywhere.
Ali was out for 70 when he skied a ball off Brian Gladwin and Alex Hibbert ran in from deep mid-off to take a brilliant catch which was probably even better than the previous wicket.
Three runs later Bramwell was out from a sharp ball from Paul Goodwin, caught by wicket keeper Mykylo Bird. A third great catch by the ever athletic Paul Goodwin off a ball from Brian Gladwin made the score 191-4.
From then some big hitting, principally from Corrie Keeble (62*), aided by Sam Conners (21) and David Hallack (29*) took Ockbrook to a massive 290-6 from their 50 overs.
Despite this onslaught the home side kept up their energy in the field, Deane and O’Connor produced a good opening spell and young Billy Holmes took 2-35.
Three startling catches were the highlights for the home side. They were up against an Ockbrook side who batted with great maturity, skill and common sense.
When Chesterfield batted they were immediately in trouble and 4-1 quickly became 12-5 and then 22-6. A record low score for the home side was looking an odds on bet.The Ockbrook opening bowlers were excellent with the wily old campaigner Kevin Dean being upstaged by 16-year-old quick Sam Conners who is definitely one to watch for the future.
Sam is in the Derbyshire CC system and earlier in the week played for Derbyshire 2nd XI – remember the name. He took 3-16 with Dean bowling eight overs for only four runs (one wicket, four maidens).
A welcome partnership between Paul Goodwin and Josh Fox took the score to 52-7 when Goodwin was run out for 18. Josh was out one run later for eight but he more importantly had held out for 50 balls – a valuable innings in the context of the match. Some late hitting from Gladwin, Deane and O’Connor took the score to 90 all out from 34.2 overs.
This is a match which Chesterfield will quickly want to forget. They are now in a relegation fight with a crucial game next week away to Cutthorpe.
Despite the Chesterfield problems this was a fine all round performance by Ockbrook who proved they are a very strong outfit.
Ockbrook won by 200 runs and gained 27 points with Chesterfield gaining three.