CRICKET: Sizzling Smith show as Pinchbeck shine

Shot! Moulton Harrox's Mark Woodhall gets one away against Billingborough on Saturday.Photo (NIKKI GRIFFIN): SG110812-256NG
Shot! Moulton Harrox's Mark Woodhall gets one away against Billingborough on Saturday.Photo (NIKKI GRIFFIN): SG110812-256NG
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Pinchbeck (208-6) beat Lindum 3rd (72) by 136 runs: PINCHBECK ended their South Lincs and Border League Division Three losing streak in fine style with a comprehensive victory on Saturday.

On a superb track at Spalding Grammar School, Pinchbeck made proper use of perfect batting conditions to register 208-6 batting first –their highest total this season.

Openers Danny Jackson (27) and Ed Grant (10) made a steady start with a stand of 44, before both fell in successive overs.

From there, Sam Smith took charge and laid the foundations for a big total with a fine knock of 81.

Smith gradually got on top of the Lindum bowlers, cracking 11 fours and 2 sixes as he cruised past 50 and found solid support from Richard Paul and Richard Riley, in stands of 72 and 42 respectively.

Smith was unable to get to three figures though, as he was caught with the score on 158. Riley (50 not out) pushed on in the closing stages to see the total beyond 200 and completed his half century in the final over.

With runs on the board, Pinchbeck kept up the pressure on Lindum with early wickets – and were able to wrap up a convincing win.

An excellent opening burst from James Langford (3-25) had the Lincoln side straight on the back foot, before Harry Waine chipped in with two wickets in a tidy 12 over spell.

After the young legs had accounted for the top half of the order it was the turn of veterans Steve Robinson (3-7) and Tony Sheppard (2-6) to get in on the act.

They shared the last five wickets to dismiss the visitors for 72 – and clinch only a third win of the campaign.

Division One

Spalding (130-6) beat Bourne 2nd (129) by 4 wickets

ROB Ambrose was unimpressed with his Spalding side despite seeing them secure another 20-point haul against struggling Bourne.

The Abbey Lawn success keeps second-placed Town firmly in the hunt for the title, with Stamford suffering a shock loss and leaders Billingborough seven points ahead.

If Spalding can beat Belton Park on Saturday, they will visit Boro the week after in a potential title decider.

But Ambrose has warned his side that they need to step up their performance if they’re to stand any chance against the defending champions.

He said: “I will take the points but we were awful. We bowled OK, but the fielding and extras we gave away were poor. And as for our batting, if we don’t improve we can wave goodbye to any hope of winning the league that’s for sure.

“We have got to be able to score 200 plus and at the moment we are not capable of doing that.

“But it’s in our hands. If we can win our last five games we can win the league, so it’s up to us to raise our game.”

Town were asked to bowl first by Bourne – but they were soon in control with Charlie Kearns (1-29) taking a wicket in his first over.

With Jamie Juckes (3-31) once again bowling well, Spalding set about taking wickets at regular intervals.

Bourne’s batsmen did make Town work hard for wickets, with their skipper Tom Bentley scoring some much-needed runs in the middle order.

He found a good foil in Tom Binns (13) as the pair started to put some respectability into their score.

But Josh Newton held a brilliant catch to get rid of Bentley for 35 and trigger a collapse, with Henry Charlton (3-3) coming on to mop the tail up to leave them out for 129.

In reply, Spalding openers Mike Kearns and his son Michael started very slowly.

They took the score onto 29 before Kearns jnr (7) played a very uncharacteristic shot and skied one to mid-off.

That signalled a made spell, as Spalding fell apart and lost another four wickets in the space of seven overs.

At 55-5 Town were in all sorts of trouble, but Ansar Hussain (35no) once again dug them out of danger.

He was helped by young Charlton, as the pair batted superbly to thwart the Bourne attack they took the score onto 110 before Charlton was snared by Binns for 29.

It mattered little though, as Hussain then pushed on to finish the game with some hefty blows to secure a much-needed win for Town.

Another 20 points at home to Belton Park is the only result Town want this weekend – but they’ll also be hoping Lindum Ramblers can upset Billingborough, having seen off Stamford last Saturday.

Division Two

Spalding 2nd (129-3) beat Boston 2nd (128-9) by 7 wickets

TOWN’S fine run of form continued with a convincing win over fellow title contenders Boston on Saturday.

After winning the toss Boston chose to bat first. Opening bowlers Steve Norris (1-28) an Chris Page (2 -14) made immediate impacts, taking three wickets in the first eight overs.

Boston never really recovered from the early Spalding barrage, as wickets fell gradually to leave them on 128-9 from their 45 overs.

Town’s Lee Eyett bowled superbly, taking 4-24.

In reply, Spalding needed to go at a leisurely three an over for victory. Run rate was never an issue though, as Jon East (13) and Mick East (22) pushed on and after guided Town to 42-2 from 15 overs.

With the wicket of Simon Juckes (6) falling, Tom Dale (61 no) joined Mick East at the crease. The pair pushed the scoring on, with Dale punishing anything loose.

When East departed with the score on 106, Eyett and Dale finished the game off with a flourish of boundaries.

The win keeps Spalding in second place behind league leaders Welby, ahead of a trip to relegation candidates Cavaliers this Saturday.