CRICKET: Nel ton as Town shine with bat, Bourne on-song, Deeping suffer title blow

Sleaford are pictured batting on Saturday. Photo by NIKKI GRIFFIN
Sleaford are pictured batting on Saturday. Photo by NIKKI GRIFFIN
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Warren Nel hit an impressive century for Spalding Town 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 becauase the visitors smashed an incredible 316-4 batting first, with former New Zealand Test ace Tim McIntosh starring with an unbeaten 162.

Tom Shorthouse also made 61 for Sleaford, who made the highest score of the day in the county top flight.

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 Rob Ambrose’s side 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 at the Abbey Lawn.

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 before a game-threatening thunderstorm arrived.

At the top, Market Deeping were sounds 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.

More cricket in Tuesday’s Lincolnshire Free Press.

Results: Hartsholme 107, Skegness 110-2; Haxey 143, Woodhall Spa 146-0 (Cheer 74no, Evison 64no); Bracebridge Heath 245 (Houston 54), Market Deeping 103 (Houston 5-36); Bourne 269-7 (Morgan 91, Louth 64), Louth 195; Sleaford 316-4 (McIntosh 162no, Shorthouse 61), Spalding 229-5 (Nel 115no); Lindum 227-9 (Lindsay 51), Grimsby 221 (Crossley 54).