In many ways, it was what has come to be seen as the archetypal Sandiacre win, as the league’s most consistent side of the last 15 years won the toss, bowled and saw their seamers set up a relatively straightforward job for the batsmen.
However, this season has not quite been the same. In recent seasons, Sandiacre have dominated – this is their third title in six years – thanks to the three-pronged seam attack of captain Dan Wheeldon, Ryan McFadyean and John Jordison.
This time, though, McFadyean and Jordison have been restricted by injuries to fewer games and fewer overs.
On the one hand, Wheeldon has stepped up to the plate – his 66 wickets, with a match still to play is represents his best return in a long career in Derbyshire league cricket’s top division.
But Wheeldon has had back-up from two young seamers this year, Matt Newbold reaching 50 wickets, all but four of them for the first team, and Kabeer Imtiaz taking 38. It is a good sign and Jordison still had 31 wickets himself, while spinner Rob Cook chipped in with 41 wickets.
Once or twice, Sandiacre gave the chasers a sniff. But it was the chasers who slipped up more often, while defending champions Swarkestone have had a disappointing, disjointed campaign which is looking more respectable now that they have won their last three matches.
On Saturday, Sandiacre needed only a nominal two points to seal the title. They were not long coming, as A&B were reduced to 14-4, Newbold taking the first two, Wheeldon the next two.
The recovery was only ever partial and it took a defiant 42 from 34 balls from number 10 Chris Stevenson to get A&B up to 113 all out, as Wheeldon finished with 4-22 from 12 overs and Newbold returned to get Stevenson and finish with 3-18.
One of Andy Rhodes’ occasional entertaining cameos at the top of the order set the Sandiacre reply off quickly, as he hit six fours in 30 from 16 balls, he and Scott McNeill putting on 54 for the first wicket.
They were both out at that score, as was Cook, for a first-ball duck but Sandiacre needed only three by the time the next wicket fell, Dan Birch (32 not out) and Jack Anderson adding 67.
Updated 17:41 - 30 Oct 2017 by Sandiacre Town