Despite a narrow defeat to Surrey at the Kia Oval, Wayne Madsen's men refused to back down and had one more hurrah in the crucial match versus Somerset.
The squad traveled to Taunton for their first visit since 2007 knowing only a win would keep alive hopes of avoiding the drop.
What followed was four nail-biting days of cricket.
Derbyshire, however, couldn’t have dreamt for a better start, especially after losing the toss, as Marcus Trescothick’s side were dismissed for just 103 during an extraordinary opening day.
Groenewald, again, was the pick of the bowlers finishing with figures of 5 for 33 from his 13 overs - and he was adequately supported by the returning workhorse Tony Palladino (4-34), featuring in his first LV= County Championship fixture since mid-June owing to injury.
But despite a commanding 195-run advantage, 95 from Nick Compton and 81 from James Hildreth helped Somerset post 438 and set Derbyshire a tricky 243 to win.
An unchanged side backed-up their first four-day win at Hove since 1996 with a dominant 56-run triumph over title-contenders Middlesex at the end of August.
Captain Wayne Madsen once again led the way completing his third century of the campaign on Day One – in the process becoming the first man to reach 1,000 LV= County Championship Division One runs. It was also the first-time he had reached 1,000 first-class runs in a season.
The 29-year-old’s unbeaten 138 - and a late quick-fire 49 from Tim Groenewald - helped the hosts post an imposing 385 at the County Ground despite losing the toss.
Attention now turned to the Derbyshire seam attack – and they didn’t disappoint. Mark Footitt (3-69), Groenewald (3-54) and Matt Higginbottom (3-59) backed up their heroic displays against Sussex to share nine wickets and dismiss Neil Dexter’s side for 249.
Things were a little tougher second time round. A gritty 59 from Richard Johnson, however, spared the blushes of the hosts’ top-order to post a respectable 160 and, more importantly, set the visitors a healthy 297 for victory.
As the curtain falls on another year at Derbyshire County Cricket Club, we look back at a historic campaign for Wayne Madsen's side. In part one we revisit Derbyshire's first top-flight win in over a decade.
After a 13-year absence, Derbyshire's young side stepped into the unknown to do battle in the highest league in the land; LV= County Championship Division One.
Many in the media wrote off the chances of Madsen's men, and after the opening fixtures even the most dedicated of supporters couldn’t argue with the pre-season predictions.
But in the face of adversity, a Derbyshire side containing a plethora of Cricket Derbyshire Academy in association with the University of Derby graduates broke the mould and at the height of summer handed the county their first Division One victory since the two-tier structure was launched, back at the turn of the century.
During an astonishing four-week period, the Club clinched three wins – more than Surrey and East Midlands rivals Nottinghamshire claimed all season – to re-install an immense sense of pride to the people of Derbyshire, and to kick start their Division One campaign.
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