Buoyant Chesterfield march on to national stage

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Chesterfield advanced as one of 16 regional winners to the national stage of the ECB’s premier cup competition, Royal London Cup, after a tense final against Doncaster.

A weakened bowling attack caused Chesterfield to put the Yorkshire Premier Club in to bat with the intention of containing a powerful side, and the ploy largely succeeded, although it was into the 12th over before the opening stand was broken by Brian Gladwin with the score on 57.

With bowlers limited to nine overs apiece, Chesterfield kept rotating the bowling before second change Sam Lang took the valuable wicket of Felix Odell who was caught for 46 with the score on 96 and the young leg spinner soon had a second success as Doncaster slipped to 119-3 after 28 of the allocated 45 overs.

The containing strategy continued to work well with disciplined bowling and some outstanding fielding on the large Town Fields ground and there was no respite for Doncaster as they attempted to increase the scoring rate against David Adams and Barney Kirk, both of whom had been drafted in to cover for unavailable regulars.

Kirk had the key wicket of Stuart Guy (52) who was well held just inside the boundary by Gladwin and after Rhys Mann was run out by Simon Lacey for 29, Adams deceived Alex Gosney to have the Town captain stumped by Drage Thompson for 21.

Chesterfield kept the clamp on to restrict Doncaster to 207-6 with Lang’s 2-33 off nine overs being the best of a series of good bowling figures.

After a brisk start Chesterfield’s good progress was derailed by the loss of three quick wickets, one of which was leading run scorer Ben Slater for a fluent 29 that included four fours and a six.

At 42-3 and Doncaster rampant Chesterfield’s chances of victory had receded but the fourth wicket pairing of Thompson and Matt Fletcher set about repairing the damage in a calm and methodical manner maintaining a good scoring rate with excellent running between the wickets interspersed with occasional boundaries.

Doncaster toiled without success for an hour and a half as the partnership blossomed with the pair looking to have won the game for Chesterfield by adding 126 and taking their side to within 40 of the winning target with eight overs remaining.

But Thompson was caught out for 65 and Fletcher was run out for 57 making for a tense finish as Doncaster suddenly scented victory.

In a frantic scramble for runs Lacey scored an invaluable 15 as wickets fell at the other end before Andy McCarroll struck the winning runs with just three balls to spare.

Odell’s 3-48 was the best of the bowling returns for Doncaster. Chesterfield’s reward is a tie against York, winners of the North Yorkshire and Durham region, with the winners progressing to the quarter finals of the national cup.



Sunday’s success in the national cup was in sharp contrast to a thumping defeat at the hands of reigning Derbyshire Premier champions Swarkestone just 24 hours earlier.

Chesterfield looked to have established a firm grip on the game dismissing former Derbyshire players Garry Park and Jake Needham as Swarkestone slumped to 120-5, with Brian Gladwin taking three of the wickets to fall.

But two current county players changed the course of events with an hour and a quarter of carnage as 190 runs were blazed to all parts of the ground and far beyond.

Lancashire’s Wayne White was eventually out for 90 but Derbyshire’s Tom Knight finished undefeated on 103 with seven fours and seven sixes as Swarkestone closed on 319-6 inflicting the fourth highest ever total conceded by Chesterfield in 14 years of Premier League cricket.

Chesterfield opened with 60 at the required rate before Mykylo Bird (28) was the first of four successes for the medium paced Bruce Dilks as Chesterfield collapsed with Ben Slater’s valiant 85 the only innings of note in an all out total of 174.

The margin of the 145-run defeat was mirrored by the points allocation with Chesterfield’s five in sharp contrast to Swarkestone’s 27, leaving them at the top of the league and Chesterfield down to sixth.

Chesterfield are back at Queen’s Park with a league game against eighth placed Denby on Saturday before travelling to Caythorpe for a Premier Cup game on Sunday.