Tumbling wickets give close finish

Chesterfield 1st XI 280-9 v Alfreton 1st XI 261-8

Alfreton arrived at Queen’s Park on Saturday in desperate need of a win in their fight to avoid relegation.

After winning the toss they put Chesterfield into bat but the early joy at the dismissal of James Pipe was soon tempered as Ben Slater and Wes Durston piled on the runs in a second wicket partnership that added 111 before Slater was out for an assured 55.

After receiving the accolade of Derbyshire’s player of the year the previous night, Durston (93) fell just short of his first Chesterfield century at which stage the total was 179-3.

Alex Hibbert (27) and Simon Lacey with a wonderfully inventive innings of 41, when for much of the time he was struggling with an injury, saw Chesterfield well beyond the 250 mark.

But wickets tumbled in the closing overs with Alfreton’s Ben Slater taking 4-12 to leave Chesterfield on 280-9 after 50 overs.

Michael Deane (2-24) once again obliged with the new ball and had the Alfreton openers caught behind but a third wicket partnership took the total to 146 at a good rate as Chesterfield were in danger of wilting in the field.

However, Alfreton’s good progress was halted with a suicidal mix-up that resulted in the running out of Andy Gwatkin who had just reached his 50 and was followed shortly afterwards by the dismissal of Jake Simpson (48).

This was the first of four wickets for Brian Gladwin who so interrupted Alfreton’s attempt to make rapid progress that they finished short in spite of an undefeated 42 from Adam Burton.

Gladwin finished with four for 47 as Chesterfield took the points for a winning draw but they will be looking for a much improved performance at Ilkeston on Saturday when the play the team propping up the rest of the league.

Chesterfield 17 points, Alfreton 13 points.

Chesterfield 2nd XI 190 all out, Ilkeston Rutland 2nd XI 179-9

Chesterfield relied heavily on Dean Hopkinson (63) and Matt Davison (31) in reaching an all out total of 190 at the Rutland ground on Saturday.

Hopkinson then took 3-34 in a closely contested affair that both sides needed to win with Chesterfield chasing promotion and Ilkeston threatened with relegation.

A game that could have gone either way ended with Chesterfield one wicket short and Ilkeston 12 runs short of victory.

Chesterfield 16 points, Ilkeston Rutland 13 points.

West Hallam White Rose 1st XI 140-7, Chesterfield 2nd XI 144-6

After an indifferent display against relegation haunted rivals the previous day, Chesterfield were in fine form at Queen’s Park on Sunday against promotion contenders West Hallam.

A rain-delayed start had reduced the game to 39 overs a side and Chesterfield inserted the visitors who opened with a stubborn first wicket partnership of 57.

But lengthy spells from Tim Kirk and Dean Hopkinson produced wickets on a regular basis as West Hallam struggled to 140-7 with Kirk taking 5-30 and Hopkinson 2-34.

The West Hallam attack posed problems for Chesterfield with both openers out and the total on 23 but Hopkinson dug in at one end while a series of partners helped to take their side towards the win that was necessary to keep their promotion hopes alive.

Kirk eventually dispelled any doubts on the outcome with an enterprising 28 that included six boundaries and by the time Hopkinson (27 not out) hit the winning boundary Chesterfield were home with four wickets and close to eight overs in hand.

Chesterfield move up to third place and look to maintain their challenge on the divisional title with a game against bottom placed Alfreton at Queen’s Park on Saturday.

Chesterfield 22 points, West Hallam five points.

Chesterfield 3rd XI 157-6, Chesterfield Barbarians 140-7

Chesterfield had the better of the game against local rivals Chesterfield Barbarians at Walton Dam on Sunday.

The Chesterfield total of 157-6 owed much to Mick Davison (57) and Liam Badderley (36 not out) with Daniel Forbett (3-33) taking the honours for Barbarians.

Martin Wagstaff took Barbarians close to victory with a fine innings of 63 not out but Barney Kirk with 3-23 kept the home side in check and they eventually finished short of the victory target closing at 140-7.

Chesterfield 15 points, Chesterfield Barbarians six points.