Second attempt to begin cricket season

Paradise Field, Long Sutton
Paradise Field, Long Sutton
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The South Lincolnshire & Border League will make a second attempt to get the season under way with a full programme of Premier Division matches on Saturday.

Newly-demoted Spalding travel to Woodhall Spa 2nd, who finished third in the table in 2015, while runners-up Sleaford 2nd go to Long Sutton.

The team to watch will be Division One champions Market Deeping 2nd who were unbeaten in 2015 and start their campaign at home to Bourne 2nd.

Last year’s mid-table sides Billingborough and Stamford Town meet again.

Divisions One and Two will start properly on April 30 but this weekend sees newly-promoted Baston in action at Heckington.

Division Two has two games – Spalding 3rd taking on Grantham 4th at home, while Claypole travel to Pinchbeck, both sides narrowly missing out on the promotion places last year.

Sunday sees the first match in the new South Lincolnshire & Border League Cup which is sponsored by Dewhurst Trophies of Boston.

This is a 40-over-a-side competition with bowlers restricted to 10 overs.

Ten teams from Divisions One and Two will contest the competition.

The final will be held at Bourne on September 10.

With no play possible anywhere on the first day of the Readers Lincolnshire ECB Premier League 2016 programme, teams are now looking forward to starting the season on Saturday.

Two sides without overseas players as yet this season are Bourne and Grantham who meet at Abbey Lawn.

Grantham are captained by Lincolnshire batsman Dan Freeman and have also signed the up-and-coming James Keast from Cleethorpes.

Australian Zac Simmonds will make the long journey to Grimsby as part of the Market Deeping team which will also include former Northamptonshire ECB Premier League player Dan Bendon.

Meanwhile, Lincolnshire begin their season on Sunday against Northumberland at Grantham (11am start) in the group stage of the Unicorns (Minor Counties) Knockout Trophy.

In 2015 Lincolnshire lost to Northumberland at the semi-final stage of this 50-over-a-side competition and will be looking to get off to a winning start.

With Bourne batsman Conrad Louth having left the area, plus Karanjit Bansal and Alex Osmond unavailable for the coming season, the County have made a number of signings including Jonny Tattershall (Harrogate and Yorkshire Academy), Hassan Azad (Loughborough MCCU) and Dominic Brown (Nottinghamshire 2nd).

Lincolnshire squad: David Lucas (captain), Carl Wilson (wicketkeeper), Dan Freeman, Ross Carnelley, Hassan Azad, Jonny Tattershall, Adam Tilcock, Luke Robinson, Dominic Brown, Matt Carter, Martin Weightman, Alex Willerton.

SATURDAY

READERS LINCOLNSHIRE ECB PREMIER LEAGUE (NOON)

Boston v Bracebridge Heath, Bourne v Grantham, Grimsby v Market Deeping, Lindum v Nettleham, Skegness v Woodhall Spa, Sleaford v Louth,.

SOUTH LINCS & BORDER LEAGUE (1PM)

Premier Division: Belton Park v Boston 2nd, Billingborough v Stamford, Long Sutton v Sleaford 2nd, Market Deeping 2nd v Bourne 2nd, Woodhall Spa 2nd v Spalding.

Division One: Heckington v Baston.

Division Two: Spalding 3rd v Grantham 4th, Pinchbeck v Claypole.

SUNDAY

UNICORNS TROPHY (11AM)

Lincolnshire v Northumberland (at Grantham).

SOUTH LINCS & BORDER LEAGUE CUP (1PM)

Division B: Freiston v Graves Park.

RUTLAND LEAGUE (1PM)

Division One: Barnack v Market Deeping, Bourne v Uppingham, Nassington v Peterborough, Stamford v Oundle, Ufford Park v Wisbech.

Division Two: Newborough v Kings Key, Uffington v Grantham.

Division Three: Long Sutton v Burghley Park, Wisbech 2nd v Kettering.

Division Four: Easton-on-the-Hill v Bourne 2nd, Isham v Hampton, Kimbolton v Loddington & Mawsley, Ramsey v Orton Park.

Division Five: Market Deeping 2nd v Castor & Ailsworth, Market Overton v Laxton Park, Peterborough 2nd v Weldon 2nd, Sawtry v Alconbury, Uppingham 2nd v Benefield.

Division Six: Hampton 2nd v Huntingdon & District, Moulton Harrox v Long Sutton 2nd, Orton Park 2nd v Newborough 2nd, Spalding v Uffington, Whittlesey 2nd v Ufford Park 2nd.