CRICKET: Spalding 1st capitalise as rivals rained off

Chris Green (centre, back to camera) is congratulated after taking a wicket for Spalding 3rd against Welby 2nd last Saturday. The Town side won by six wickets to strengthen their position at top of Division Three in South Lincs and Border League. Photo (NIKKI GRIFFIN): SG140712-231NG
Chris Green (centre, back to camera) is congratulated after taking a wicket for Spalding 3rd against Welby 2nd last Saturday. The Town side won by six wickets to strengthen their position at top of Division Three in South Lincs and Border League. Photo (NIKKI GRIFFIN): SG140712-231NG
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Spalding (146-3) beat Sleaford (145-9) by 7 wickets: Title favourites Town seized on the good fortune of rivals Stamford and Billingborough being rained off to increase their lead in South Lincs and Border League

Division One.

Vice-captain Matt Hendry steered them to a significant win after electing to field first.

And it was a great throw from Hendry which got Town firing – a run-out accounting for Hutson with the score on 21.

Mountain soon followed to a good yorker by Charlie Kearns to leave Sleaford struggling on 25-2 in the 11th over.

Sleaford skipper Godby (26) and Roberts (29) set about some very attacking stroke play to see them race to 79 in the 17th over, before the introduction of spin twins Hendry and Ali Hussain saw both runs dry up and wickets fall.

An amazing catch by Charlie Kearns – using all his 6ft 8in to grasp the ball with fingertips – helped see Sleaford struggle to 113-9 in the 34th over and then 145-9 after their 45 overs .

In reply, Hendry (14) and Michael Kearns Snr (58) started in attacking mode with Titley and Goddard both being dispatched to the boundary on numerous occasions before Hendry fell in the seventh over with the score on 37.

The impressive Newton hit a calm and assured 48no.

Charlton knocked off the winning runs in the 39th over to send Town home with 19 points and extend their lead at the top to 17.

Hendry said: “It was great to see the front-line bowlers and batsman all combine superbly to see us home but we have to work on our fielding which was decidedly sloppy and one week it will be the difference between winning and losing.

“But we go to Grantham this Saturday with great confidence looking for another win against challenging opposition .”

DIVISION TWO: Spalding 2nd (151-8) beat Baston (117) by 34 runs

Spalding’s fine form continued with a comfortable win.

They were asked to bat first. The pitch was very green and wet so patience was required.

But after a few overs, openers Ash Rex and Lee Eyett lost that patience and took the attack to the bowlers. Eyett dispatched two huge sixes before trying it one too many times and spooning the ball for a simple catch at mid-on.

Steve Norris then hit a quick-fire 22 before he also gave away his wicket to an easy catch. Rex continued to push on taking every run available and when tea was taken early, Spalding were in a fantastic position at 128-3 from 34 overs.

The break did Spalding no good though as Baston tightened up their lines and restricted the batsmen.

With wickets falling and overs running out, pressure started to build.

Rex ended up unbeaten on 83, batting for the whole 45 overs.

Pick of the Baston bowlers was Adam Hilless with 3-24.

The normally dependable Norris took a while to find his line but then made an impact, dismissing Bower with the score on 18.

Carl Lamming bowled consistently as normal taking 2-19.

The introduction of Eyett into the attack had an immediate effect as the Baston batsmen tried to hit the spinner over the top but failed to connect, chipping an easy chance for Jack Beavis to take.

Spalding’s fielding wasn’t up to its normal standard as there were several misfields and six catches were dropped.

With one wicket remaining, the rain came. The pitch got even wetter and the chances of finishing the game looked unlikely.

But after a brief discussion with the umpires the game continued and it took Eyett only six balls to claim the final wicket and pick up a five-wicket haul.