CRICKET: Barkston & Syston finish second in Lincoln League debut

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Sills & Betteridge Lincoln Cricket League

Division Three

Carholme 18-3

Barkston & Syston DNB

– match abandoned

Barkston and Syston CC travelled to Carholme sitting in second place in the league, six points above Hykeham and with a game in hand, knowing that a win would secure the runners-up place.

When the team finally arrived after horrendous traffic in Lincoln, what faced them was a muddy, sticky pudding of a pitch.

But the show must go on, and needless to say the visitors lost the toss.

For some strange reason, Carholme elected to bat, whether it was because the Stags only had eight players? Who knows?

Out into the field went Barkston’s eight men, expecting Carholme to exploits the gaps but their attacking was nowhere to be seen, with just six runs from six overs and two wickets down

By the time Barkston had 11 on the field after the eighth over, Carholme still only had six on the board. Then it happened – someone hit one for six totally out of the blue

But the skies were turning black and with the thunder rolling in by the 14th over, the scoreboard read 18 for three – and the heavens opened.

News came through that third placed Hykeham’s game never got going, giving them five points but not enough to catch the mighty Stags who could now proudly claim the runners-up spot as their own.

It was Barkston’s first season in the Lincoln League and to finish second at their first attempt can be seen as a great testament to the team’s spirit and ability.

l The penultimate weekend of the season proved to be the worst of the season with no less than nine of the scheduled games failing to finish.

With all these games lost there were just two games completed, one in the Premier League and one in Division Two. With points picked up from cancelled games, several titles etc were decided.

Locally, the Division One title decider between Cherry Willingham and Fulbeck fell foul of the elements but the points picked up by Cherry saw them become champions.

Fulbeck finished as runners-up as Ancaster lost to Boston 2nd.

In Division, the only other game to reach a conclusion was a top of the table clash as second placed Billingborough entertained champions elect Scothern.

Scothern were unbeaten in their last four while Billingborough had lost their last home match but won two in a row away from home. Scothern were also after a league double, their fourth.

Billingborough batted first, closing on 160-7 with Chris King hitting 75 (his seventh 50 of the season). For Scothern, Alex Stapleton took 3-24.

In reply, Scothern closed on 96-8 with Steve Bett making 25, as Aaron Pullam took 3-12.

The points picked up by Scothern ensured they are champions, but Billingborough have to wait until their final game against Nocton, which will decide who are runners-up. Billingborough need just five points to be assured of this.