CRICKET: Town’s confidence high ahead of “title decider”

On the charge: Mike Kearns did plenty of damage at the top of the order for Spalding on Saturday.Photo (TIM WILSON): SG180812-145TW
On the charge: Mike Kearns did plenty of damage at the top of the order for Spalding on Saturday.Photo (TIM WILSON): SG180812-145TW
Have your say

Spalding 1st (179-7) beat Belton Park 1st (62) by 117 runs: TOWN couldn’t go into Saturday’s crunch South Lincs and Border League Division One clash at title rivals Billingborough in any better form after demolishing Belton Park.

While defending champions Boro were slipping to their first loss of the season against Lindum 2nd, Town were collecting a maximum 20 points at Spalding Grammar School on Saturday.

Josh Newton (44), Rob Ambrose (33) and Mike Kearns (30) all scored well at the top of the order to guide Spalding to a solid 179-7 batting first, before Charlie Kearns, Jamie Juckes and Ansar Hussain took three wickets apiece to blow Belton away for 62.

Although skipper Ambrose was pleased to see his side jump back ahead of Billingborough in the title race, he admits it changes little in the grand scheme of things.

He said: “It was a lot better from us this week, Belton are a decent side – so to beat them as comfortably as we did was pleasing. Everyone chipped in and it was a good team performance.

“The Billingborough result at Lindum doesn’t really change things much, we have still got to go there next week and beat them to stand any chance of winning the league.

“But this weekend will give us confidence going into the game. It will no doubt be a spicy encounter and you always get a warm welcome from Billingborough.”

On a glorious day for cricket, Town had no hesitation in batting first after winning the toss.

It proved a good call, with opening pair Ambrose and Mike Kearns looking in good touch and getting Spalding off to a great start.

They put on a brisk 47-run partnership before Ambrose was dismissed. Newton joined Mike Kearns and they carried on the good work by taking the score past 100 at the half way point of the innings.

However, Belton’s Nick Law (4-52) and Rohan Perrera (1-21) did a great job in the middle overs and cooled Town’s hopes of a big total.

The pair bowled great line and length, picking up wickets at regular intervals.They couldn’t stop some big hitting from Jamie Juckes (16no) at the end though, as Spalding sat down for tea at 179-7.

With a gettable total on the board, Town knew they had some work to do for the win.

Once again, opening bowlers Charlie Kearns (3-14) and Juckes (3-25) were on-song, bowling brilliantly in the difficult conditions.

They demolished the Belton top order to put Town in a commanding position, with Pandula Abeysakura (19) the only one to reach double figures.

Ansar Hussain (3-11) and Henry Charlton (1-9) finished off the rest of the line-up to send Town five points clear of Boro – setting up Saturday’s clash at the home of the champions perfectly (1pm).

Division Two

Cavaliers (74) lost to Spalding 2nd (76-3) by seven wickets

SPALDING’S red-hot second side kept the pressure on leaders Welby with another impressive victory.

With a slightly weakened side from previous weeks, Town still travelled to Peterborough to play relegation candidates Cavaliers as favourites.

On a firm, but green wicket, Cavaliers won the toss and surprisingly opted to bat first.

They quickly regretted the decision as Spalding’s opening bowlers Steve Norris (4-19) and Kev Nottingham (2-25) ripped into the top order.

At one stage, the home side were toiling on 9-4 off just 10 overs. Spalding’s supremacy continued, as a combination of impressive bowling and some very loose shots eventually saw Cavaliers bowled out cheaply for 74 in 34 overs.

Geoff Church (32) and Jamie Hayes (14) were the only home players to reach double figures.

In reply, Spalding didn’t need to do much to chase down the total – especially with 56 overs available.

Jon East (32) and Mick East (14no) made the chase look very easy, taking no risks until Jon was caught at gully to a very good delivery.

A slight wobble ensued with Lee Eyett trapped LBW for a duck and Ben Edwards (7) being caught behind.

But Norris steadied the ship, dispatching the bowlers to all parts with a rapid nine off six balls.

With Welby also collecting 20 points, Spalding stay seven points behind the leaders. Although Welby have played two less games, the duo still have to meet twice before the end of the season (September 8 and 15).

Division Three

Pinchbeck (110) lost to Boston 3rd (111-5) by five wickets

BOSTON won the toss and surprised the visitors by putting them in to bat on a wicket that promised to deteriorate as the match went on.

The ever-reliable Ed Grant (14) held the early part of the innings together as wickets tumbled around him, with Lewis Holmes taking 5-25.

A mix-up with skipper James Cole (10) led to a run out for Grant, but a stand with David Wallder (25) stabilised the innings.

However, another run out involving the skipper heralded the demise of Pinchbeck’s fortunes, as they finished on 110 all out.

Boston coped with the uneven bounce and an aggressive spell of bowling from James Langford (2-33) to reach the required total and finish on 111-5.