CRICKET: Town ‘miracle’ hailed by captain Rob

Grantham 1st (141) lost to Spalding 1st (143-3) by seven wickets: SPALDING skipper Rob Ambrose admitted it was a “miracle” that his side were able to register their first win of the new season on Saturday.

After the frustration of three washed out South Lincs and Border League weekends on the spin, Town’s seven-wicket win over Grantham at Spalding Grammar School was one of just two matches in the entire league to go ahead.

Not that promotion-chasing Division One side Spalding showed any ring-rust, though. A top bowling display saw their visitors dismissed for just 141, before a classy 71 from Matt Hendry helped the hosts knock off the runs in 33 overs.

A delighted Ambrose, who was making his competitive debut as captain, said: “It was very pleasing to get off to a winning start, but we have to thank the chairman Heath Ripley for getting the game on in the first place. After all of the club’s work and preparation pre-season, we were starting to feel a bit cheated by the weather.

“There were two massive puddles on the square on Friday morning, so to get the game on was a miracle in the first place. But that shows the club’s desire to get our season going.

“Our performance was OK. We gave them 40 runs more than they should have got, but Matt Hendry batted very well and gave us the solid platform to go and win the game comfortably.

“We have now have a difficult game at Stamford (Saturday, 1.30pm), who are going to be one of the teams up there with us at the end of the season – so it’s important we put in a good performance and hopefully come away from there with a win.

“That would set us up nicely for the rest of the season.”

Having won the toss, Ambrose had no hesitation in putting Grantham into bat – and it paid dividends.

The away side were soon reeling at 26-4, with new signing Charlie Kearns and Jack Barratt taking two wickets each. Kearns’ magnificent yorker to remove opener Rory Johnson was the highlight.

Danny Ashley (12) and Grantham skipper Gareth Bennett (50 not out) did their best to rebuild the innings, but the wickets continued to tumble at an alarming rate – leaving the away side at 74-8.

With Bennett standing firm, an aggressive 25 from Danny Bates undid some of Town’s good work and took the away side to 141.

Kearns (2-23) was the pick of the bowlers, but five of the unit contributed with two wickets apiece.

In reply, the ever-reliable Mike Kearns Snr (28) anchored the innings well, allowing Hendry to dominate.

Hendry soon passed his maiden half century for the season with two consecutive fours off Neil Stevenson, before Kearns was trapped LBW with the score on 98.

Josh Newton came and went for a duck soon after – and although Hendry was stumped for a magnificent 71 with the score at 110-3, Charlie Kearns (12 not out) and Tim Norris (23 not out) saw Spalding home.

Norris finished the game in style with a four, six and four off the final three deliveries – ensuring a maximum 20 point haul for Town.

SCORECARDS

Grantham 1st

N Stevenson c Hendry b Barratt 21

R Johnson b C Kearns 4

M Wing c C Kearns b Barratt 0

P Dowman c Hendry b C Kearns 0

D Ashley c Hendry b Hussain 12

G Bennett not out 50

M Donnellan c Ambrose b B Stanway 3

A Parker c Hendry b Hussain 11

K Sheppard c Barratt b Stanway 0

D Bates b J Juckes 25

W Leadenham c C Kearns b Juckes 0

Extras (3lb, 5w, 7nb) 15

Total (all out, 38 overs) 141

Bowling: C Kearns 8.4-2-23-2; Barratt 7-2-24-2; Hussain 9-1-27-2; Stanway 7.2-0-31-2; Juckes 4-1-11-2; Whitworth 2-0-22-0.

Spalding 1st

M Kearns LBW b Bennett 28

M Hendry st Johnson b Stevenson 71

J Newton c Bennett b Stevenson 0

C Kearns not out 12

T Norris not out 23

Extras (5b, 4w, 1nb) 10

Total (for 3 wickets, 33 overs) 144

Bowling: Ashley 8-2-26-0; Parker 7-1-19-0; Stevenson 9-1-40-2; Bennett 7-1-29-1; Sheppard 2-0-25-0.

Division Two

Blankney 104 lost to Moulton Harrox Sunday 105-8 by two wickets

Blankney 1st

C Donald c H Barnett b Lavery 21

S Behan c Lavery b Sharpe 29

L Williams st Broomfield b Saville 17

J Ingamells b Cusack 2

C Steele st Broomfield b Cusack 7

B Hargrave b Cusack 17

S Brumpton c Broomfield b Saville 1

B Donald b Cusack 1

B Tumilty LBW b Cusack 0

I Holvey b Saville 0

T Dodsworth not out 1

Extras (2b, 1lb, 5w) 8

Total (all out) 104

Bowling: F Barnett 6-2-13-0; H Barnett 8-3-10-0; Lavery 6-1-14-1; Sharpe 5-0-24-1; Cusack 9.4-3-21-5; Saville 8-0-19-3.

Moulton Harrox Sun

J Barnett c Behan b Ingamells 0

J Broomfield c Holvey b Ingamells 11

H Barnett b Ingamells 0

P Scourfield c&b Tumilty 31

L Barwick b Donald 0

M Cusack c Hargrave b Donald 6

F Stone b Tumilty 29

F Barnett run out (Ingamells) 3

J Sharpe not out 9

O Saville not out 8

Extras (3b, 1lb, 3w) 7

Total (for 8 wickets) 105

Bowling: Ingamells 12-2-31-3; Donald 9-2-21-2; Holvey 4-0-15-0; Tumilty 9-1-23-2; Donald 6-1-11-0.