CRICKET: Nel’s hundred for plucky Town

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Warren Nel hit an impressive century for Spalding on Saturday as they collected valuable points in their bid for Lincs ECB premier League survival.

As has been the case in recent weeks, Town didn’t collect the lion’s share of the points against high-flying Sleaford at Spalding Grammar School.

That’s because the visitors smashed 316-4 batting first, with former New Zealand Test ace Tim McIntosh starring with an unbeaten 162.

Tom Shorthouse also made 61 for Sleaford. But Spalding were also on-song with the bat. South African star Nel anchored the innings superbly, finishing on 115 not out as the hosts closed on 229-5 to secure a losing draw.

That moves them 25 points clear of the drop zone after Haxey were walloped by leaders Woodhall Spa – but they drop a place in the table after Bourne beat Louth by 74 runs.

Bourne skipper Peter Morgan fell nine short of a century and Conrad Louth made 64 in a team total of 269-7.

Louth were going well in their reply, but collapsed from 172-4 to 195 all out. Stuart Airey (4-19) took four wickets – including the scalp of number 11 Andy Carrington with the final ball.

At the top, Market Deeping were soundly defeated by Bracebridge Heath as their title hopes faded.

Man-of-the-match Brett Houston top-scored with 54 for hosts Bracebridge in their 245, before taking 5-36 to help dismiss Deeping for 103.

Deeping slip to fourth as a result of the comprehensive loss – and are now 46 points behind leaders Woodhall Spa.