SPALDING 1st are at full strength this Saturday as they aim to put one hand on the South Lincs and Border Cricket League Division One title.
The club has not won that crown for 34 years, but Rob Ambrose’s side need 30 points from their remaining two games to end that wait.
As they prepare to host Market Deeping 2nd in their final home match, Ambrose said: “We have put ourselves in a great position with two games left – we win the two games, we win the league.
“We are back at full strength with Charlie Kearns and Tim Norris returning.”
The two players missed the victory at Skegness 2nd last weekend.
After losing an important toss on a green top wicket, Town were asked to bat first and got off to the worse possible start, losing Ambrose first ball of their innings chopping onto his stumps.
Batting was difficult and Town really struggled with the conditions. Henry Charlton (21) played well but Town couldn’t get a partnership going as the top order had failed to do their jobs at 81-7.
Jamie Juckes (16) joined Luke Whitworth (18no) at the crease and the pair got their team out of a hole. They put on an invaluable 46 runs before Town were all out in the 43rd over for 128.
Then Jack Barratt (3-30) and Jamie Juckes (1-11) bowled very good lines for Town, restricting runs and taking wickets.
Richie Hewitt (25) was playing well for Skegness but was removed by Mike Kearns Jnr (2-23) to give Town a massive lift.
Zeeshan Saeed (27) was the man Town had to get out if they were to stand any chance of winning. Skegness were 97-6 and coasting.
Ambrose went for a change in the attack, bringing Barratt and Charlton on.
Barratt removed Saeed and Charlton (3-15) did the rest to leave Skegness all out for 120.
Ambrose said: “The lads really stuck at it in the field and the determination we showed in getting the win is pleasing as captain.”
Pinchbeck (183-7) beat Burgh & District (125) by 58 runs
Pinchbeck leaped off the bottom of Division Three with this comfortable victory.
Put into bat by the visitors, they were under pressure as Burgh opening bowlers Bruce and Scott Underwood shared three wickets before an ugly run out saw the hosts wobbling at 59-4.
Sam Smith and Richard Riley swung the momentum firmly back Pinchbeck’s way with a brilliant stand of 114 in 23 overs.
Having reached his 50, Riley then fell with three overs remaining, quickly followed by Smith who was caught for a superb 73 – both wickets to the returning Scott Underwood who finished with 3-36.
Pinchbeck closed on a competitive 183-7.
Openers Phil Sharp (39) and Scott Underwood (24) made steady progress at the top of Burgh’s innings with a stand of 53 in 17 overs before Steve Robinson found a welcome breakthrough for Pinchbeck.
And he followed up with two more swift scalps to finish with figures of 3-29.
When Riley snapped up Sharp – caught behind by Danny Jackson – Pinchbeck were sensing victory.
Blackmore (21) provided brief resistance before falling to Smith, who followed up his batting performance with two wickets.
With the visitors’ tail subsiding, Mike Knight closed out the game for Pinchbeck needing one over to take the final two wickets.
Spalding 3rd (28 all out) lost to Boston 3rd (29-2) by eight wickets
Spalding were under the cosh from the start, losing a wicket in the second over.
Things did not get any better and some fine bowling by a young Boston side had Spalding fighting to try and get a respectable score on the board.
No one could and they were all out in the 15th over for a meagre score of 28.
Best of the Boston bowlers were L Holmes 3 for 7 and Mazar 4 for 11.
Some fine bowling from Kev Nottingham (2-6 off 4 overs) did not make it easy for the Boston batsmen but they reached their target in the ninth over, though not before Spalding had dropped three catches in the field.