CRICKET: Spalding’s best of the season is not quite enough

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Spalding turned in one of their best displays of the season as much-fancied Skegness held on grimly to play out for a losing draw.

After being asked to bat first Spalding were soon in trouble with skipper Rob Ambrose and Mike Kearns back in the hutch after falling to Skegness’ Aussie import Sean Williams.

At 30-2 Town’s innings was very much in the balance so the way that Warren Nel and Josh Newton went about building a solid foundation for their team was very pleasing.

Nel eventually fell to Paul Butler for a fine 75 and Newton was gone shortly after for 52.

Campbell Light and Tim Norris carried on the good work and really made the away side chase it in the later overs with some fantastic batting. Town finished their innings on 251-4, leaving the Seasiders with an awful lot to do after tea.

Early wickets were needed to really put the pressure on Skegness and Spaldings openers Light (3-47)and Charlie Kearns (2-51)were in great form. Kearns removed Ricky Lovelace and Light bowled Peter Houghton to leave Skegness reeling.

Saeed Bariwala and Dan Millgate started the repair job for Skegness, moving the score onto 47 before Mike Kearns was brought into the attack and got Bariwala caught by Luke Whitworth at gully.

Skegness skipper Ritchie Hewitt joined his fellow Aussie Millgate at the crease and the two continued to edge closer to the total set by Town.

The turning point came when Tim Norris made a brilliant diving stop at mid off – with Millgate half way down the pitch and being sent back, the agile Norris was able to throw to Ambrose who did the rest. Hewitt fell next over with Town really on top at 99-5.

You could see the confidence grow amongst the Spalding team. Nel (2-25) bowled with great control but could not shift Paul Butler(30no, who was helped by another of Skeg’s Aussies Sean Williams (30), who took their teams score onto enough to earn the three-point draw.

Kearns brought some excitement to the final over of the innings by dismissing Williams but could not find a way past the number eleven with the final delivery of the game.

Skipper Ambrose told the Guardian: “I know we didn’t quite manage to beat them but for me that’s the best we have played in this league since getting promoted.

“We have a very important game coming up Saturday against Hartsholme – one that we will be hoping for something from.

“But you never know with us at the moment.

“It depends which Spalding turns up!”