The earliest mention of a cricket match played on our present ground at Longmoor Lane is 1877, although there are records of games being played against Breaston and Stapleford as early as 1839. Having first won the Sandiacre and Ilkeston District League in 1898, the club have seldom been far from the top ever since in whatever competition it has taken part.
The club took a momentous decision in 1953 to purchase the ground that we had previously rented from a local farmer. With the aid of a grant from the National Playing Fields Association and a bucket collection taken around every house in Sandiacre, we were able to ensure that cricket would remain in the centre of the village.
The opening of the new pavilion in 2002 by Ian Botham was a significant moment of the club’s history in the 21st century. Due to the hard work and organisation of Peter Dunn, who lead the team that brought our ideas to fruition, the club has benefited from a magnificent structure that has helped us continue to thrive and expand.
Having played successfully for many years in the Notts Amateur League, Sandiacre were keen to take up the opportunity of playing in the newly formed Notts Alliance League, which had been formed to improve the standard of cricket. We enjoyed considerable success in League and Cup competitions and so when the decision was made to set up County Premier Leagues, we were eager to join the new competition and test ourselves against the best and in 1999, we decided to join the Derbyshire League. We originally joined with two sides but soon expanded to three. All sides did well initially and the 2nd XI, having achieved promotion to Division 2 in their first year, have played in that division ever since. The 3rd XI started in Division 6 and are now playing in Division 5S having reached the dizzying heights of Division 4S in 2017.
The 1st XI took some time to get used to the Premier League but since joining have managed to win it 5 times and have always been competitive at this level. The team were also successful in the Derbyshire League Cup winning it three times since joining. This was soon overshadowed by our success in the National Cup competition. What started as an opportunity to play sides from other leagues and give us some variety in our fixtures, then became an opportunity which culminated in us playing Bath CC in the National Final at Lords after a tremendous cup-run including a semi-final win at West Indian Cavaliers.
The win at Lords was an exciting, pulsating victory won by a run out of their last man in the final over, with Bath only needing two runs to win! You would not have thought it possible to better this memory, but we did it again in 2014 beating Sunbury CC from Surrey with three balls to spare at Bristol CCC.
We have always enjoyed the 20:20 format and have entered the League’s competition from its inception. 2016 saw the club reach the National Finals, televised at Derbyshire CCC, and after a good semi-final win we unfortunately came up short in the final.
The club continues to move forward with a large member of juniors at all ages and a thriving social membership. It has been led well over the years by many outstanding captains and the present one, Dan Wheeldon, leads the club with his outstanding bowling on the pitch and his great organisation off it. The joining of the Derbyshire Cricket League has been advantageous to Sandiacre, who have relished the challenge and the competition, and we hope that the league has benefited from our inclusion.