Spalding Town 2nd (101) beat Moulton Harrox Sun (95) by six runs: NOT even a stunning hat-trick from Harrox teenager Henry Lavery could stop Town from winning this low-scoring derby thriller in South Lincs and Border League Division Two on Sunday.
The 14-year-old removed top Spalding trio Mick East, Tim Norris and Dav Naghen as part of a sensational five-wicket haul – which helped bowl the hosts out for a meagre 101.
But Norris brothers Tim and Steve took four wickets apiece to skittle Moulton out for 95 in reply, leaving them an agonising six runs shy of their target.
After winning the toss Moulton skipper Joe Broomfield had no hesitation in asking Spalding to bat first.
After some erratic bowling, Town took advantage and reached 38 before losing skipper Tom Dale for LBW to Darren Hibbert (3-22) for 17.
That triggered a dramatic collapse – with Lavery’s heroics doing much of the damage – and Spalding soon found themselves in dire straits at 51-7.
A partnership was needed to steady the ship, and it duly came in the shape of Chris Page (6) and Jimmy Clarke (18).
Although Lavery (5-18) removed Clarke, the tail wagged a little when the partnership was broken, taking the score to 101 all out.
With such a low score on the board the game was Moulton’s to lose. Tight bowling from Page (1-15) and Carl Lamming (0-23), coupled with some very good fielding, helped to restrict the openers but partnerships were forming with Mark Woodall (28) leading the charge.
The introduction of Clarke soon changed the balance of the game, as he took a wicket with his first delivery. This was backed up by Steve Norris (4-22), who went one better with a double-wicket opening over.
With Clarke’s line starting to stray, Tim Norris was brought into the attack – and boy did that move pay off.
He also took a wicket with his first delivery, then bowled superbly in tandem with his brother, as both kept very good lines and took wickets at regular intervals.
But Laurence Price (21) batted well with the tail to drag Moulton closer and closer to the finishing line.
With the score in the nervous 90s and one wicket remaining Harrox’s batsmen were nearly there.
However, a flighted delivery from Tim Norris tempted one of the lower order to go for glory – and he hit the ball high, with Naghen pouching a good catch to clinch the match.
Town captain Dale said: “This win backs up what Spalding are all about.
“The team were fantastic and it took a lot to defend that score. I couldn’t have asked for more from the lads. Hats off to Moulton though, they worked hard and were very unlucky not to come away with more.
“I hope the team can carry on the current form and claim another victory against Billingborough on Saturday.”