CRICKET: Record Billingborough stand was against all odds

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BILLINGBOROUGH Cricket Club record breaker Dave Newman has revealed the extreme lengths his side went to on Saturday as they bid to overhaul Spalding Town in the South Lincs and Border League Division One title race.

Run machine Newman and fellow opener Geordie Scott shared a club record stand of 320 against Bourne 2nd, to move the defending champions within striking distance of leaders Town – who saw their game rained off.

But it all could have been so different, with the Boro pitch under water on Friday night and Saturday morning. Newman also admits his side would have BOWLED first if they’d won the toss, meaning his best-ever individual tally of 158 not out would never have happened.

“On Friday night the pitch was underwater,” explained the explosive opener. “Our groundsman Mark and treasurer Gary spent five hours taking the water off, only for more rain in the early hours to put it back to square one.

“At 9am on Saturday we got a small works party down to the ground and spent four more hours getting it playable.

“The pitch was very soft and there’s no question, we would have bowled first if we had won the toss.”

Knowing chief rivals Spalding and Stamford – who clash this Saturday – had already seen their games called off, Newman admits his side knew they had to get the game on.

What he didn’t expect was a record-breaking afternoon for the defending champions. Because he was unbeaten, Newman’s knock just betters his previous best of the same score, while the 156 scored by Kiwi all-rounder Scott is the most he’s managed for the club.

Although winning the match was the only objective in the duo’s mind, Newman feels their feat is among his most memorable moments in the sport.

He added: “Scoring 158 not out on a very wet pitch and setting a new club first wicket record partnership of over 300 is a huge achievement in my cricketing career full stop.

“My previous was 158 back in 2010 – which was in an opening stand of 252 – but I was out. I don’t think I’ve actually batted a full 45 overs before either, as I generally start to push on. But against Bourne everything just went mine and Geordie’s way.

“Winning the game for me was the most important thing, knowing Stamford and Spalding were cancelled. This was the opportunity we needed to take to close the gap, especially as they play each other this weekend.”

Boro host Skegness 2nd on Saturday, bidding to take full advantage of whatever transpires at Spalding Grammar School.

Town lead them by six points, with Stamford 21 points off the pace with a game in hand on the leading duo.