CHARLIE Kearns showed a touch of class as Spalding Town surged to victory against rivals Moulton Harrox on Saturday.
One of a clutch of cracking summer signings, the former Market Deeping ace top scored with 76 as Town eased to a 111-run success in their best showing of the South Lincs and Border League Division One season so far.
Batting at number four, Kearns’ stellar innings helped Spalding reach 212-7 in their 45 overs. Ansar Hussain and Mike Kearns Snr also chipped in with 40 apiece, while Will Jex and Jack Barnett took two wickets each for Moulton.
Another of Spalding’s summer signings – Tim Norris – then shone with the ball as hosts Harrox were bowled out for 101. He took 4-43, while Hussain (3-14) and Jamie Juckes (2-21) also produced fine spells. Jex’s 40 was the best Moulton could muster.
Spalding skipper Rob Ambrose said: “That’s the best we have played this season.
“Charlie’s innings was class, we are very lucky to have him. He’s a Premier League player who will do well for us.”
Elsewhere in the top flight, a fine 77 from Tom Bentley wasn’t enough for Bourne 2nd as they fell 17 runs shy of Woodhall Spa 2nd’s 189-3 at the Abbey Lawn.
Market Deeping 2nd were more soundly beaten at Skegness 2nd, having been skittled out for a meagre 92 chasing 190 to win.
Title hopefuls Billingborough were once again thwarted by the weather, as an inspection of the Grantham pitch showed it was too wet to play.
In Division Two, half centuries from skipper Tom Dale and Lee Eyett weren’t enough for Spalding 2nd.
Top scorer Dale (52) and Eyett (51) helped Town post 190 batting first – but hosts Stamford 2nd, with Gary Peck making a destructive 83, reached their target in just 36.5 overs for the loss of six wickets.
Meanwhile, Mick Stanley’s 63, which included 13 fours, guided Billingborough 2nd to a seven-wicket success against Baston.
A solid 24 from Jon Howard an a defiant 22 not out from number 11 Doug Russell helped Baston bring up triple figures (103) before being knocked over.
Billingborough were in no mood to hang around and slipped into Twenty20 mode, rapidly passing their target in the 18th over.
On Sunday, four wickets from Darren Hibbert couldn't stop Cavaliers as Moulton Harrox 2nd were beaten by 33 runs. David Kennedy hit 55 at Woodlands, but Hibbert (4-48) did his best to limit the home side to 180.
That still proved enough, with James Sharpe (27) top scoring in Harrox’s 147.
Down in Division Three, a century partnership from Jake Morton (62) and Jimmy Clarke (72 not out) steered Spalding 3rd to 27-run victory over Timberland.
Clarke was in a virtuoso mood, taking 4-12 with the ball as Town defended their 195-4 superbly.
Pinchbeck’s game with Grantham 2nd was called off.
• Results: Division One – Stamford 170-7, Belton Park 107-9; Woodhall Spa 2nd 189-3 (McDowall 57no, McCarrick 98), Bourne 2nd 172-8 (Bentley 77); Spalding 212-7 (C Kearns 76), Moulton Harrox 101; Skegness 2nd 189-5 (S O’Dare 64), Market Deeping 2nd 92; Lindum Ramblers 170-5 (Taylor 65), Sleaford 2nd 82; Grantham v Billingborough – no play, wet pitch. Division Two – Baston 103, Billingborough 2nd 107-3 (Stanley 63); Heckington 143-9 (Charlesworth 70), Blankney 144-3 (Behan 87no); Welby 177 (Wilson 59), Boston 2nd 162-6; Spalding 2nd 190-5 (Dale 52, Eyett 51), Stamford 2nd 191-6 (Peck 83); Cavaliers 180 (Kennedy 55), Moulton Harrox Sun 147. Division Three – Boston 3rd 148-4 (Mitchell 60no), Claypole 130 (Renton 5-31); Spalding 3rd 195-4 (Morton 62, Clarke 72no), Timberland 168 (Blankley 67, King 53); Pinchbeck v Grantham 2nd – Grantham conceded; Welby 2nd v North Luffenham – North Luffenham conceded; Burgh & District v Lindum Academy – postponed.
• SEE Thursday’s Spalding Guardian for tables, reports, scorecards and more cricket reaction.