CRICKET: Double delight for Grammar’s T20 boys

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Spalding Grammar School cleaned up at the T20 Finals Day at Burghley Park, winning both the U13 and U15 titles.

On a glorious day in Stamford, the U15s beat Arthur Mellows Village College from Peterborough in their final, while the U13s were victorious against Neale-Wade Academy from March.

First up for the U15s were Longsands School from St Neots.

A confident start with the bat saw opener Ryan Plant score a superb 51 not out, with useful contributions from Will Holmes (19) and David Thomas (10).

The score of 145 from the 16 overs was not reached by the opposition, despite a good start, as tight bowling and sharp fielding from the Spalding team kept them at 102 all out.

 In the final, the team faced the talented Arthur Mellows team.

Fielding first, Spalding’s bowlers and fielders helped keep strong batsmen at bay, dislodging eight of them for 102 runs in the 20 overs.

This time Plant was out for a duck, but a useful partnership between James Hook (23) and David Thomas (15) helped rebuild the innings.

At 45-4 off nine overs, things looked tight, but captains Will Holmes and Sam Young took to the crease to bat sensibly and bring most of the innings home, before the lower order batsmen scored the remaining few runs to seal victory in the final over.

 This victory was a fitting closure to a four-year journey for this team, who have risen from novices in Year 7 to champions in Year 10.

Much of this improvement has been accredited to the dedication of the players and volunteer coaches Jimmy Clarke of Spalding Town CC, and parent Paul Holmes.

The first U13 game saw them up against Voyager from Peterborough. Four wickets from Joshua Lawrence and three in five balls from Robert Taylor saw their opponents dismissed for 57.

The standard of fielding was high with the pick of Spalding’s fielders being wicket keeper Jordan Butcher who claimed three stumpings.

Spalding comfortably registered a 10-wicket victory inside seven overs, with openers Patrick Harrington and Butcher undefeated on 27 and 18 respectively.

In the final the U13s batted first and Harrington enjoyed another aggressive knock, sharing positive partnerships with Howell (15) and Lawrence (11) before retiring at 51 not out.

Assertive batting at the end of the innings from captain Garner and Mason resulted in a partnership of 24, taking Spalding’s total to a strong 135.

The March side lost a first-over wicket to a run out, but fought back well with a 67 partnership.

Eventually Howell was able to break the partnership, which led the way for a mini collapse with spinner DeCamps claiming four wickets in four overs.

The other stand out bowler for Spalding was Joshua Lawrence as the team bowled their way to victory.