Langley Mill United fell to just their second defeat of the season on Saturday as Sandiacre Town’s second XI prevailed.
Batting first, the Millers scored 214-8 off their 46 overs, but started off in the worst possible fashion by losing three quick wickets to leave them 28-3 off eight overs, Kevin Newbold and Jordan Standring doing the early damage.
The Millers then consolidated for a while with Sajendra Thimal and Simon Lacey before Thimal was stumped for 40.
Langley Mill then continued to lose wickets and suddenly found themselves 99-6 as Aaron Tullett (2) and Danny Hanson (9) fell, Dave Jordison and Jordan Halford harming the middle order.
The Millers then slumped to 149-8 off 39 as Sandiacre picked up two more quick wickets, firstly Lacey for 39 and then Jack Scott for 23.
But just as the Millers were hoping to see out the overs and limp to 175, enter Jay Holmes (52*) and Andrew Bailey (20*) with a stand of 65 to take their side to a more respectable but below par 214-8, Holmes was the aggressor smashing three fours and three sixes.
Jordison was the pick of the bowlers with 3-50 and there were two wickets piece for Newbold and Halford.
In reply, Sandiacre got off to a slow start but kept wickets in hand which became vital at the end.
They lost two quick wickets as Holmes picked them off, but a third wicket stand of 60 between Bill Anderson (31) and George Domleo (45) set the foundation for the middle order batsmen to play with some freedom.
The Millers tried several bowling options but coupled with poor fielding Sandiacre edged closer to the finish line and 27 points.
A stand of 71 in eight overs from Ashley Brown (51*) and Tom Priestley (33) helped give Sandiacre maximum points. For the Millers, Holmes picked up 3-42, Bailey 2-40 and there was a wicket too for Lacey.
Sunday saw Langley Mill in T20 action in Group A of the DPCL Cup.
They travelled to Cutthorpe to first of all take on the hosts in the semi-final.
Cutthorpe won the toss and elected to bat first, getting off to a brisk start reaching 49 by the end of the power play for the loss of one wicket, Andrew Thompson (13) caught by Jack Scott.
This brought overseas Josh Savage to the crease and he didn’t hang about blasting a quick 52. After 12 overs Cutthorpe where 102-3 and looking at 170 plus.
The Millers had other ideas and tightened the rate with Thimal, Lacey and Bailey all bowling tight lines. Thimal was the pick of the bowling with 4-8 off three overs as Cutthorpe finished on 142-9 off their 20 overs, Bailey and Lacey picking up two apiece.
The Millers knew the target was not beyond them but also knew they had to see Savage off as he has already taken 43 wickets this season.
They did this but lost concentration at the other end as Asadullah Butt ripped through the top three to leave the Millers 26-3 off six overs.
Enter Paul Bailey. He had a look around for a few balls and then let rip, dispatching the Cutthorpe bowlers all over. In a brutal seven overs he smashed 64 which included six sixes and four fours.
At the other end Jamie Salmons fed the strike and stood firm and 26-3 was now 108-4 with seven overs remaining and the Millers in the driving seat.
They lost a couple more wickets but Salmons (31*) and Holmes (9*) saw them through with three overs remaining to set up a final with West Hallam.
With the previous game being delayed due to the weather the Millers had to wait until 6pm to take on West Hallam, with skipper Bailey winning the toss and electing to bat.
The Millers raced to 33 off three overs with Lewis Pinder (25) being the lead destroyer. The run rate then slowed as West Hallam found their straps and picked up a couple of wickets, Tullett (4) and Pinder (25) within an over of each other.
At the half way point the Millers reached 67-3 with Thimal being bowled by Tom Lockhart for 14.
Paul Bailey then started where he finished the previous game, blasting a quick 31 before becoming Lockhart’s third victim.
Hanson provided a needed injection of runs as assisted by Lacey they smashed 52 off the final five overs to give the Millers a competitive 156-5.
In reply West Hallam flew out the blocks with 13 from the first over.
The Millers then settled and started to control the game picking up two quick wickets with Scott Parkin striking in his first two overs.
After ten overs West Hallam had settled at 59-2 with Lacey and Parkin bowling their four allotted overs each. Skipper Bailey then came on along with Thimal and the pair managed to frustrate the Hallam batsmen and keep it tight.
The game shifted into the Millers’ hands in the 14th over as Bailey struck twice, removing the danger man Matt Tatler (27) and Carl Cruz (11).
In the end the Millers held their nerve and West Hallam finished on 123-6 as Langley Mill once again booked their place t the finals day, having come so close to glory last year.
Bailey and Parkin both took two wickets and there was a wicket apiece for Hanson and Thimal as well as a run out.
The finals day will be held at Elvaston on August 23rd with Langley Mill up against three Division One sides, facing Marehay in the first game and then Duffield or Stainsby Hall should they progress.