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Royal London Club Championship
Round One Preview


Dan Wheeldon produced a captain’s innings to lead Sandiacre Town to the Royal London Club Championship National title in a thrilling final at Bristol. The all-rounder hit a boundary with just three balls remaining to finally see off the challenge of Surrey Championship side Sunbury by two wickets and clinch Town’s first national crown since their 2003 success over Bath.

Wheeldon’s 25 not out, batting at number seven, spanned more than an hour as wickets fell around him but, combined with man of the match John Jordison’s 25 from 20 balls, he completed a dream weekend for the Derbyshire Premier League side. They lifted the Derbyshire Premier Cup the same weekend with a 55-run victory over Ticknall, and Wheeldon was a proud man.

“It was a fantastic final to play in and I’m just glad I could get us over the line at the end. I didn’t bowl very well so I owed the lads with the bat.“I was always quite confident that if we took it to the final few overs we would do it because we have players who can hit boundaries at the end, players like John Jordison, and there’s always more pressure on the bowlers at that stage.

“John’s knock at such a crucial time was brilliant and this is my best feeling in cricket. “To come down here and win just a day after winning the Derbyshire Premier Cup is an incredible achievement and will take a long time to sink in.”

Sunbury had surprisingly opted to bat after winning the toss on a cloudy morning at the home of Gloucestershire County Cricket Club but their decision looked a wise one as Justin Granger and John Maunders put on 67 for the opening wicket. But once Granger went in the 17th over to the impressive Marius Conway-Jones, who took 4-32, wickets fell at regular intervals.

The prolific Adam London went to Jordison cheaply and Sunbury suffered a further setback when Maunders was caught behind by Curtley Read, again off Jordison, just two balls after drinks. Captain Olly Roland-Jones was then brilliantly run out by a direct-hit from point by Conway-Jones and Sunbury had lost 4-23 in 10 overs. That brought David Nash and Rhythm Bedi together and they added 57 in 11 overs before Nash was bowled, stepping across his stumps, by Conway-Jones.

Bedi continued busily – despite the further losses of Kevin Smith and Vishal Manro – before he fell for 52 off 45 balls in the final over, Amar Virdi also departing to Conway-Jones as they were dismissed for 197.

Andy Rhodes began the pursuit of 198 in fluent fashion with four boundaries in his 22 but he went lbw to Maunders’ third ball. Ollie Swann was just as positive and hit four boundaries in his first 10 deliveries to move Sandiacre beyond 50 in eight overs. They were up to 97 in the 17th and cruising home when Swann played-on to the off-spin of Matthew Todd to depart for 40. And in the next over the game turned when the spinners applied the pressure with Virdi having opener James Chapman caught behind by London for 33.

Rob Cook became Virdi’s second wicket and Read followed an over later, caught behind off Manro, before John Trueman was run out by a direct-hit from Bedi to leave Sunbury in the driving seat. Jack Anderson helped Wheeldon rebuild before he went in the 39th over, bowled by Matthew Todd, but Jordison arrived to turn the tide. He hit 25 off 19 balls only to be bowled with six required off eight deliveries but Ryan McFadyean managed to get Wheeldon the strike and a powerful pull for four off Maunders clinched a stunning win.


Welcome to the competition pages for the Royal London National Club Championship 2014. The full draw, fixtures and results can be found by clicking on one of the buttons below.