Chesterfield go top after stunning big guns in memorable weekend
A memorable weekend saw Chesterfield zoom to joint top spot in the Derbyshire County League after back-to-back victories against two of the Premier Division's big guns.
On Saturday, they stunned previously unbeaten leaders Sandiacre Town, skittling them for just 82 en route to a wonderful six-wicket triumph. And 24 hours later, they dismissed another of the expected title contenders, Spondon, by seven wickets.
In both matches, the Chesterfield bowlers were the difference between the sides, with overseas player Josh Savage and club coach Andrew Parkin-Coates producing wicket-taking performances.
They were ably backed by the rest of the bowling outfit, most notably veteran spinner Brian Gladwin, who deserves a special mention for playing through a bad injury and still managing to get through almost 14 overs on the Sunday.
On a dreary, rainy day at Sandiacre, the hosts were asked to bat first and limped to 57-2 in the hands of openers James Chapman (28) and Scott McNeill (14). But Chesterfield had kept it tight and then began to make real inroads, taking eight wickets for only 25 runs.
Savage finished with 4-22 from 13 overs and there were two wickets apiece for Parkin-Coates (2-35 in 13 overs), Gladwin (2-4 from 26 balls) and Paul Goodwin (2-15 in five overs).
As a result of delays caused by the wet weather, Chesterfield had to chase their target in a restricted number of overs, and they didn’t make the best of starts against the bowling of Sandiacre’s Daniel Wheeldon (3-43 in 9.4 overs). Both Mykylo Bird and Parkin-Coates fell for five, while Matt Critchley went for 11, and at 38-3, there was some nervousness about.
However, a fine partnership of 42 between captain Alex Hibbert and Minesh Keshwala (24, three fours) saw them to the brink of their target. A proud Hibbert finished a terrific day unbeaten on 31 after stroking three boundaries.
A COMPETENT all-round display enabled Chesterfield to control Sunday’s match against fellow high-fliers Spondon at sunny Queen’s Park from start to finish.
Controlled, tight bowling by new-ball duo Josh Savage (3-32 in 14 overs) and Andrew Parkin-Coates (2-26 in 11) helped them restrict the visitors to an ordinary total of 162-9 in their allotted 50 overs.
And then an opening stand of 77 between Mykylo Bird, who made 54, including three big sixes, and Minesh Keshwala laid the perfect platform for a successful reply as Chesterfield reached their target for the loss of only three wickets with eight overs to spare.
After handing a first cap to young Tom Bacon, another product of the club’s junior structure, Chesterfield won the toss and soon had second-placed Spondon in trouble. At the halfway stage, the visitors were 63-4, with the only resistance coming from opener Josh Brear (23), who then fell to a stunning catch by Drage Thompson at slip off Matt Critchley (2-36 in seven overs).
Good contributions by skipper Adam Finlay (38) and tailender Tom Williams (26no) kept Spondon’s heads above water but with an injured Brian Gladwin bowling through the pain barrier, Chesterfield continued to hold the upper hand, which was soon reinforced with the bat.
Bird also put on 43 for the third wicket with Critchley, whose unbeaten 32 (four fours) eased the hosts over the line, alongside Parkin-Coates (20no).