CRICKET: Grantham CC concede title after rain stops play

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Grantham CC conceded the title after Bracebridge Heath claimed the Readers Lincolnshire ECB Premier League championship on a rain affected September afternoon which saw four games abandoned.

The league leaders had only 15 runs on the board at Lindum when the game was called off, while second placed Grantham had reached 70 without loss when their fixture at Market Deeping came to an end.

Of the two games completed, Warren Nel scored 77 of Spalding’s 184 for eight at Boston, putting on 53 for the third wicket with Brandon Andrews. Andrews then dismissed Boston’s top three batsmen for 24 runs and the fourth wicket fell on 58, but Tom Baxter joined Fayadh Haffejee in a 116-run partnership before Haffejee was out for 86.

Baxter went on to make an unbeaten 51 and take his side to a five wicket win.

At Alford, Shaun Morris took six for 15 to help bowl the home side out for 71, a total Sleaford overtook without loss.

Results: Spalding 184-8 (Nel 77), Boston 186-5 (Haffejee 86, Baxter 51no); Alford 71 (Morris 6-15), Sleaford 72-0; Woodhall Spa 180 (Jayawardene 59) v Louth - abandoned; Bourne 143-3 v Grimsby Town - abandoned; Bracebridge Heath 15-0 v Lindum - abandoned; Grantham 70-0 v Market Deeping - abandoned.

l Only one game was completed in each division of the South Lincolnshire and Border League but two of these had a bearing on the top places.

Sleaford 2nd now lead the Premier Division table after defeating Boston 2nd who were all out for 49, Samit Puri bowling 10 overs with seven maidens and taking four for eight. Ben Bulmer than hit 41 as Sleaford cruised to a 10-wicket win.

This puts Sleaford nine points ahead of Skegness with a game in hand after Bourne 2nd had bowled the seasiders out for 101 only to see the game rained off.

In Division One, Timberland finished their season on a high note, bowling Billingborough 2nd out for 110 in the final over of the innings and going on to win by five wickets.

Welby Cavaliers and Baston, both challenging for the runners-up place behind champions Long Sutton, were rained off after only a handful of overs.

Freiston 2nd played second placed Heckington in Division Two’s only completed game with Heckington failing to consolidate their lead over Pinchbeck after being bowled out 76 chasing Freiston’s modest total of 91.

This leaves Pinchbeck 10 points behind but with a game in hand after rain stopped play in their game against Long Sutton 2nd, while Heckington have finished their league programme.

Results: Premier Division – Boston 2nd 49, Sleaford 2nd 51-0; Billingborough 82-8 v Spalding 2nd - abandoned; Woodhall Spa 2nd 129-6 v Grantham 2nd - abandoned; Skegness 2nd 101 v Bourne 2nd - abandoned; Market Deeping 2nd 19-1 v Stamford Town - abandoned. Division One – Billingborough 2nd 110, Timberland 111-5; Claypole 29-0 v Baston - abandoned; Belton Park 62-1 v Long Sutton - abandoned; Moulton Harrox 152-9 v Boston 3rd - abandoned; Skegness 2nd 15-2 v Welby Cavaliers - abandoned. Division Two – Freiston 91, Heckington 76; Long Sutton 2nd 73-4 v Pinchbeck - abandoned.