CRICKET: Harrox show a battling spirit

It's all gone Tonge: Richard Tonge faces up to a Pinchbeck delivery on Saturday. Photo by NIKKI GRIFFIN
It's all gone Tonge: Richard Tonge faces up to a Pinchbeck delivery on Saturday. Photo by NIKKI GRIFFIN
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Moulton Harrox (161-9) beat Boston 2nd (113) by 48 run: LAST week their form was imperious – but this time out Moulton showed they could also scrap for a win in South Lincs and Border League Division One.

It’s now three wins on the spin for Harrox, who have moved quietly into the top five of the top flight.

The visitors were put into bat and initially made steady progress. Jack Barnett (89) was the most influential batsman, calmly constructing yet another memorable half-century.

His regular opening partner Will Jex (21) established the early tempo before his innings came to a premature end.

The remaining batsmen then struggled to give Jack Barnett the support needed – only Matt Barnett (14) made double figures – and Harrox were disappointed in not achieving a fourth batting point.

Mickey Troops (2-44) and Paul Deans (4-42) were the pick of the Boston bowlers.

After tea, the home side began their innings confidently and were making Moulton’s bowling look ordinary.

But Harrox’s young side are developing a battling spirit and they refused to lose sight of their third victory in a row.

Having taken, for him, the unusual decision to bowl round the wicket, Nigel Eveleigh (2-31) then took two wickets in one over to tip the balance back in Moulton’s favour.

The nagging westerly wind was enabling the ball to swing prodigously at times, but Boston’s top order batsmen refused to give up their wickets easily with Rob Grant (23), Scott Elleray (24) and Andrew Hewitt (29) all getting good starts.

Skipper Matt Barnett (2-30) also took important top order wickets, but it was Max Cusack’s smart run out to take the fifth wicket that finally put Moulton in the driving seat.

The brisk medium pace of Harry Barnett (4-27) then saw Moulton safely home to seal another valuable victory.

Division Two

Billingborough 2nd (191-9) beat Spalding 2nd (143) by 47 runs

SPALDING continued their barren run despite a consistent performance away to Billingborough.

Bowling first Spalding couldn’t have wished for a better start when Jon East caught opener Harvey Page (1) off Carl Lamming’s first ball.

The hosts were then reduced to 9-2 after Stuart Gollop (3) had his off stump pegged back by Luke Whitworth, but keeper Liam Maskell made 28 in a key partnership with opener Stanley (65).

However Billingborough then put the hammer down with Stanley and Zealand (45) playing some attacking strokes off spinner Jack Beavis, before Alex Lyon (1-21) bowled Zealand to break a crucial partnership.

The introduction of Simon Juckes (3-11) brought immediate success for Spalding as he dismissed Stanley and Jordan Green (0) in quick succession.

Luke Whitworth picked up the wickets of Matt Cox (10) and Aaron Pullum (0) as Billingborough lost a flurry of late wickets. Juckes then dismissed Scott (2) as Billingborough finishing on 191.

In reply, Spalding’s top order all contributed despite falling 47 runs short of victory as nobody went to make a big score.

Openers Tom Dale (25) and Mick East (21) saw off the new ball, with Dale playing some expansive shots before East fell caught behind to Pullum (1-22).

Jon East (11) and Dale were both victims of spinner Matt Cox, who ended up with impressive figures 5-41.

However Juckes (22) and Lyon batted well against the spin of Gollop (1-41) before the former fell.

Lyon battled on with some agressive shots but fell to Cox for 23. Jim Clarke was next to go, caught in the deep by Pullum off Zealand (2-32).

With Spalding’s hopes fading Steve Lloyds fell for a hard hitting nine to Cox, before Zealand claimed Luke Whitworth for a duck. Carl Lamming (0) then became Cox’s fifth victim when he was bowled.

Chris Page (4) and Beavis (4 not out) went on the quest for batting points with the game away from them, but Page was caught behind off the bowling of Mark Simmons to finish them off.

Division Three

Spalding 3rd (258-9) beat Grantham 2nd (255) by three runs

A MASSIVE 513 runs were scored at the Memorial Field – with Spalding winners by a tiny margin.

Batting first, Town soon took control of the game thanks to aggressive hitting from Jamie Juckes (99).

Spalding’s top order batsmen provided good support, but this was followed by a dangerous collapse.

But Kev Nottingham (19), skipper Stu Parker (37no) and last man Ash Bright batted out the overs watchfully, taking the score to 258-9 in the process.

The Grantham innings was also dominated by the bat, with Mark Donnellan (83) and Danny Ashley (59) putting on a huge partnership for the second wicket.

Despite a fine spell from Juckes (1-33) it appeared that Grantham were coasting to victory.

However, the return of opening bowler Chris Green (5-48) signalled a collapse, with Grantham going into the final over needing eight to win with two wickets in hand.

Wicket keeper Parker took an incredible high catch to put Spalding on the brink, before Green dismissed the visitors’ number 11 off the last ball to seal a remarkable win.

Timberlands (133) beat Pinchbeck (124) by nine runs

A SUPERB fielding display was ruined by a wretched batting performance as Pinchbeck’s losing streak dragged on.

The visitors chose to bat first at Knight street and started well with an opening stand of 40 before Richard Tonge was run out for 22.

Buoyed by this breakthrough Pinchbeck’s bowlers then took over and went on to dismiss their opponents for 133.

James Langford (3-48) and Sanj Tott (1-20) added further wickets as the home side imposed themselves on the game.

Backed up by the efforts of Harry Waine (3-31) and Andrew Beeston (2-31), Timberlands were dismissed for 133 in the 33rd over.

Sadly, Pinchbeck could not transfer that momentum into the second half of the match and early wickets put them straight on the back foot. Timberlands’ seamers Adam Gilbert and Tony Carter (3-23) shared five wickets in the opening 18 overs with only 32 on the board.

Despite their good start, the bowling side were leaking a number of extras as Gary Neumann (22) and Beeston (15) began to steady the ship for Pinchbeck with a patient half century stand.

But with the hosts starting to close in on the finish line the introduction of Eric Askin (3-15) swung things back the visitors’ way as he struck three times in three overs to leave Pinchbeck on the brink at 102-9.

Waine (17) and Tott (10 not out) batted on bravely and took the team close to victory, before Gilbert (3-26) returned to hammer the final nail in the coffin and seal the points for Timberlands.