CRICKET: Big Billingborough win has skip Dale buzzing

Content captain: Tom Dale reckons it's 'brilliant' to skipper resurgent Spalding Town 2nd.

Content captain: Tom Dale reckons it's 'brilliant' to skipper resurgent Spalding Town 2nd.

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Billingborough 2nd (101-9) lost to Spalding 2nd (103-6) by 4 wickets: BUOYANT skipper Tom Dale couldn’t hide his delight as Town’s upturn in form continued with a rare South Lincs and Border League Division Two win over rivals Billingborough.

It’s now three wins in a row for Spalding’s second string, who have transformed from basement boys to relative high-fliers over the past month.

With overcast conditions and a soft wicket, Spalding won the toss and Dale had no hesitation in asking hosts Boro to bat first.

Steve Norris (2-29) continued his fantastic recent form with a wicket from the second delivery of the game, while his opening partner Carl Lamming (3-12) was superb – bowling his 12 overs straight through.

With the rain causing players to leave the field, Billingborough were in serious trouble at 30-4.

When the teams returned rain was still in the air, so Spalding kept the pressure on with Simon Juckes producing a fantastic spell of 3-19.

However, just like the week before the tail end started to build partnerships and punish Town, with Matt Cox (21 not out) and Trevor Ginn (7 not out) pushing quick singles.

That allowed Billingborough to pass three figures, as they posted a total of 101-9.

Spalding needed to bat sensibly to knock off the required runs – and their reply looked to be going well as Jamie Juckes (8) punished a few deliveries to the boundary early on, before being dismissed.

Father and son combination Jon and Mick East built a good partnership, taking the score to 37, before Trevor Ginn trapped Jon LBW for 19.

With plenty of batsmen to come Spalding continued to play their shots, but with wickets falling, a Billingborough upset looked likely as Spalding were wobbling at 52-4.

A solid partnership by Dave Endersbee (18 not out) and Alex Lyon (9 not out) knocked off the required runs, taking Spalding to make it a hat-trick of wins.

Spalding captain Dale said: “Everything went well for the side. The second team have only beaten Billingborough once in the last four years, so it’s a great feeling to finally get the win.

“It is never easy to start again after a rain break, but the lads kept focused and showed what talent we have. With some fantastic batsmen playing well against a good bowling attack, it’s brilliant to captain the side.

“We struggled early on in the season and it wasn’t looking great four weeks ago when we were bottom of the league. But the boys have pulled together and if we can keep doing what we are doing, there’s no reason why we can’t be near the top at the end of the season.”

The two sides meet again at Spalding this Saturday.

Division Three

Pinchbeck (136-9) lost to Claypole (137-8) by 2 wickets

BATTLING Pinchbeck fell just short of victory on Saturday as Claypole won a close encounter by two wickets at Spalding Grammar School.

Put into bat by the visitors, Pinchbeck’s top order again endured something of a torrid time.

Scott Barnsdale (3-32) and Steve Ryder (2-9) picked up early wickets – including Dave Wallder and Richard Paul for ducks – and had the hosts firmly on the back foot at 49-6.

However, led by Andrew Beeston (31 not out) the lower order showed real fighting spirit to guide Pinchbeck past three figures.

With Jaz Tott (11) and Harry Waine (13) adding useful runs, the hosts managed to bat out their 45 overs and closed on 136-9.

The home side then got the start they needed in the field, with early wickets making it difficult for Claypole.

Beeston followed up his batting exploits with 3-21 and, with Tott picking up a brace from the other end, the visitors were reduced to 54-5.

Matt Taylor and Dean Revill responded with an aggressive stand of 33, before Steve Robinson (2-25) had the latter caught for 15.

Taylor (36) continued to play his strokes though, and in doing so he moved his side closer to victory – before being bowled by a brilliant delivery from Waine.

Robinson had Barnsdale caught shortly after and Pinchbeck were in the hunt at 116-8, but the visitors weren’t be denied and any thoughts of a tense finish were quashed by Claypole skipper Kevin Jacques, who weighed in with a quickfire 20 to get his side over the finish line.

The defeat, a fourth of the season for Pinchbeck, leaves them in the bottom three.

But they visit basement boys Grantham 2nd this Saturday in search of a second win.