Winning start for champions

Ricky Lovelace
Ricky Lovelace
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Three centuries were recorded in a high-scoring Readers Lincolnshire ECB Premier League 2015 opening week.

Brett Houston’s 103 helped Bracebridge Heath to the top total of the day of 304 for four against Louth and Matt Carter followed this up with the only five-wicket haul.

Newcomers Grantham won their first match, defeating Skegness by 39 runs, and Market Rasen celebrated an opening victory over Grimsby.

League record breaker Tim McIntosh started where he left off in 2014 with the day’s highest individual score, an unbeaten 148 for Sleaford at Market Deeping after the home side had reduced their opponents to 80 for five.

With 12 overs to go, Sleaford had only 116 on the board but McIntosh and Sean Morris (72) set about the bowling to take the final total to 265 for six.

Deeping were then bowled out for 114.

Houston’s century was well supported by Paul Cook (82) and Nick John (65) and the visitors secured their 20 points as Carter’s five for 20 helped bowl out Louth for 126.

A lower scoring game at Skegness saw Grantham reach 180 for nine after being 86 for six. Josh Mihill and Jamie Brumby rescued their side, putting on 45 for the seventh wicket and Brumby went on to make 40.

Skegness then found themselves 21 for four before Wamanga Perera and Brendan Young dug in, Young making 50 before being bowled by Joe Peck. From here, Grantham regained the upper hand and the seasiders could only hang on for a losing draw, finishing on 141 for nine.

Champions Bourne began the season with 20 points with a win over Lindum who were all out for 182, Will Wright hitting 50.

Bourne lost only two wickets reaching their target, Conrad Louth hitting 58 and Rob Bentley 73.

Ricky Lovelace scored the day’s third century, an unbeaten 102 for Woodhall Spa at Spalding who made 218 for five.

Woodhall were 87 for five when Jack Timby joined Lovelace in a partnership of 52 and Lovelace was still there when the visitors claimed a four-wicket win.

Market Rasen’s second season in the league began well with a five-wicket win over near neighbours Grimsby who, after a steady start that saw them reach 65 for two, were bowled out for 102.

New signing Jack Harrison took two wickets for Grimsby with 37 runs on the board but Paul Martin and Graeme Bell joined forces to push the total along and take Rasen to a comfortable victory.


Bracebridge Heath 304-4 (Cook 82, John 65, Houston 103), Louth 126 (M Carter 5-20); Sleaford 265-6 (McIntosh 148no, Morris 72), Market Deeping 114; Grantham 180-9, Skegness 141-9 (Young 50); Lindum 182 (Wright 50), Bourne 184-2 (Louth 58, R Bentley 73); Spalding 218-5, Woodhall Spa 220-6 (Lovelace 102no); Grimsby 102, Market Rasen 103-5.