CRICKET: Town skipper lauds champion display

Spalding Town 1st (147) beat Haxey (56) by 91 runs: Skipper Rob Ambrose sung the praises of three key players as terrific Town produced another top display in the Lincs ECB Premier League.

Defending champions Haxey were powerless to resist at Spalding Grammar School on Saturday, falling 91 runs shy of Town’s score of 147.

CLOSE CALL: Spalding Town's wicketkeeper/batsman Joe Broomfield, who eventually fell LBW, is worked over by Haxey's Paul Bell on Saturday. Photo (NIKKI GRIFFIN): SG180513-136NG

CLOSE CALL: Spalding Town's wicketkeeper/batsman Joe Broomfield, who eventually fell LBW, is worked over by Haxey's Paul Bell on Saturday. Photo (NIKKI GRIFFIN): SG180513-136NG

Overseas ace Campbell Light stole the show, scoring 55 at better than a run-a-ball before snaring stunning bowling figures of 7-35 to skittle the visitors for just 56.

But Tim Norris (21) – who shared a super stand of 61 with Light – and fast bowler Charlie Kearns (3-19) also caught the eye of their captain as Spalding secured 16 precious points.

Ambrose said: “I was really pleased for Charlie. He’s been bowling well this season without a lot of luck so for him to pick up some wickets up is great.

“Tim Norris is looking more his old self. He had a very important partnership with Cam in the middle of the innings to give us something to bowl at.

“The intensity of our fielding is getting better each week so things are starting to look up for us. Hopefully we can continue it against Lindum in what’s looking like an important game for us already.”

On a gloomy day, Haxey won the toss and inserted Spalding into bat. They instantly got their reward, with South African Warren Nel (0) undone by his fellow countryman Josh Savage, having chopped one onto his stumps.

Mike Kearns joined Ambrose at the crease and the pair worked hard in difficult conditions before Paul Bell got one to nip back and clean up Kearns for 15. Ambrose (18) was the next to go, edging one to gully off the languid Savage.

That brought Zimbabwaen ace Light to the crease. He is building himself quite a reputation in the league – and once again he dispatched anything loose on his way to 55.

He found a reliable partner in Norris, as the pair put on 62 for the fifth wicket to put Town in a decent position of 118-5.

However, the lower order failed to impress and Spalding were bowled out for 147 in the 43rd over.

Town needed early wickets to give themselves a chance of winning – and the opening pair of Light and Charlie Kearns were on hand to do just that. Dangerman Greame Attleborough was the first to go when he was undone by a Light bouncer edging one to Joe Broomfield. At the other end Kearns trapped Ashley Hooper LBW to leave Haxey reeling on 14-2. Things got worse for them in the next over with Light picking up another couple of wickets.

Spalding were starting to look something like the side that won promotion last year, energetic in the field and enjoying themselves. Light and Kearns continued to take wickets at regular intervals to roll over Haxey for just 56 in 18th over – skipper Mark Atkins (15) being their only man to reach double figures.

Town visit Lincoln Lindum on Saturday (12.30pm).