CRICKET: Skipper sure Spalding will secure crown

On the winning track: Spalding's Josh Newton smashes a boundary against Market Deeping on Saturday ' a win that has left skipper Rob Ambrose hopeful of a promotion and title double. Photo (TIM WILSON): SG080912-174TW
On the winning track: Spalding's Josh Newton smashes a boundary against Market Deeping on Saturday ' a win that has left skipper Rob Ambrose hopeful of a promotion and title double. Photo (TIM WILSON): SG080912-174TW
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Spalding (346-6) beat Market Deeping 2nd (64) by 282 runs: CELEBRATIONS are almost under way at Spalding as they virtually sealed the South Lincs and Border League Division One title with a stunning showing on Saturday.

Captain Rob Ambrose and his side require just two points from their final game of the season at Woodhall Spa 2nd to be crowned Division One kings – and it’d take an almost unthinkable scenario to deny them a first championship in 34 years.

Ansar Hussain (106), Charlie Kearns (62) and Michael Kearns Jnr (52) all feasted on runs as Town racked up a massive 346-6 at Spalding Grammar School, before skittling rivals Deeping out for 64.

With the title all but assured, Ambrose has also revealed that the club are closing on promotion to the Lincs ECB Premier Division too.

Although they still have work to do before the October deadline, an initial inspection undertaken by league official Headley Stroud went well on Friday – leaving the Spalding skipper extremely hopeful of making the step up in class.

A buzzing Ambrose said: “It was a great weekend for the club. We had our inspection with Lincs ECB Premier League and ECB officials on Friday, regarding our application to be promoted.

“We have a couple of things to sort, but nothing major. As long as we have those in place for the meeting in October, we have a chance of promotion into the Lincs ECB Premier League – which would be a massive achievement by this cricket club.

“With Bourne doing us a massive favour beating Stamford, it makes our job in the last game a lot easier. Two points should be no problem and the celebrations can start.

“It was another good team performance from us with a lot of players contributing to the big win. But Ansar’s hundred was obviously the performance of the day – he batted superbly for us.

“It’s now a case of roll on Saturday – we are going to enjoy ourselves. The players deserve it, they have been superb for me all season.”

Saturday proved to be a key moment in Spalding’s pursuit of the title, with rivals Stamford surprisingly beaten by struggling Bourne 2nd.

On a glorious day for cricket, Town won the toss and decided to bat first on an absolute cracker of a wicket.

After losing Luke Whitworth early on, Spalding took apart the Deeping attack, scoring freely on a very hot afternoon.

Kearns Jnr (52) and Josh Newton (44) moved the score onto 84-1, before the former was snared by Sam Pateman (4-48) after playing a very good innings.

Joe Pearson (2-64) then picked up the wicket of Newton, while Tim Norris (33) played well before top edging one behind. That brought Hussain and Charlie Kearns together at the crease – and the pair put on 165 runs for the fifth wicket to take Town over the 300 mark. They eventually finished on 346-6 at tea.

Deeping’s reply started badly as Jack Barratt (1-19) struck in his first over to remove Ryan Hyman.

The visitors attempted to bat their overs out and frustrate Town, but all that did was delay the outcome.

Steve Norris (3-12) bowled well with Hussain (2-15) to leave Charlie Kearns (3-6) to mop up the Deeping tail.

Only Michael Holden (11) was able to reach double figures for Deeping as they finished on 64 all out.

Division Two

Welby (204-7) beat Spalding 2nd (72) by 132 runs

SPALDING’S poor run continued as they slumped to a hefty defeat against champions Welby on Saturday.

Despite having several regulars missing due to their selection in the first team, Town were looking to right the wrongs of their loss to Moulton Harrox the previous week – but when they lost the toss, things began to go wrong.

With Spalding starting with just ten men, Welby found it easy to play into the gaps. Only when a full team was on the field did the pressure start to build, with Paul Edgeller running out the dangerous Angus Youles (13) from the boundary with a direct hit.

Unfortunately this was as far as the pressure went, with James Tickler (44) and Darren Bradbury (102no) putting on a decisive 140-run partnership before Tickler was eventually dismissed by Simon Juckes.

This wicket did spark a collapse, but Welby still ended their innings on a fine 204-7.

Spalding did their best in the field amid hot conditions, with Juckes (4-23) by far the pick of the bowlers.

Despite the large total Spalding weren’t fazed. With the pitch still in good condition and only needing 4.5 runs an over, the total looked achievable. That was until two wickets fell in the first three overs to put Spalding on the back foot. Edgeller (20) and Juckes (16) did steady the ship briefly, but they were both dismissed in consecutive overs.

A spell of seven overs then finished off Spalding, as Welby captain Michael Whatton taking 4-6 to leave them miles short of their target at 72 all out in just 21.5 overs.