CRICKET: Ruthless Sutton batter Blankney

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Long Sutton (133-2) beat Blankney (131) by eight wickets: Table-toppers Sutton continued their dominance with a simple victory over struggling Blankney – who only fielded nine players on Saturday.

Choosing to bowl first, skipper Matt Bull looked for early wickets from his strike bowlers Paul Edgeller and Barry Stanway.

But it wasn’t until Stanway’s seventh over that the breakthrough was made. Jake Burton and Jimmy Wright were then introduced into the attack and looked to turn the screw.

Burton (3-18) looked the more probing as he bowled a series of tight overs, picking up two wickets in the process.

After a lengthy rain break, Burton completed an excellent spell, which included seven maidens.

It was then left to the returning Edgeller (3-44) to pick up the remaining wickets as Blankney collapsed to 131 on a good pitch.

In reply, with regular openers Ed and Chris Booth unavailable, the new combination of Jimmy Wright and Phil Barnes looked to give the skipper even more selection headaches at the top of the order. Both were watchful in the early stages but Barnes (3) fell to a good piece of bowling to bring Jimmy’s brother Adam to the crease.

The siblings accumulated effectively, exploiting the large gaps present with their usual stroke play. When Adam (29) was dismissed, it was left to Jimmy (64 not out) to pass 50 for the second time this season and complete another 20-point victory.

Skipper Bull said: “It’s been a difficult week for us, as we have had problems with availability and injury.

“But again we’ve shown our usual determination.”

• Sutton’s top Sunday side collected a valuable 18-point haul against basement boys Yaxley in Rutland League Division Three.

After skipper Jake Burton chose to bowl first, Paul Edgeller (4-14), Ian Morris (3-14) and Mark Woodall (3-14) decimated the home line-up for just 91 in 26.5 overs.

Steve Skoulding (6) and Aaron John (12) both fell early on but a patient stand between Edgeller (36) and Matt Bull (15) inched Sutton towards their target.

Both were eventuallu dismissed, but Woodall (7 not out) and Jordan Keeble (4 not out) finished the job with six wickets in hand.