CRICKET: Grantham thwarted by weather with Freeman on form

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Lincolnshire ECB Premier League

Boston 1st XI 186-9

Grantham 1st XI 170-5

(match abandoned)

Grantham’s challenge was thwarted by the weather after a man of the match performance from skipper Dan Freeman took them to within 17 runs of victory before the rain intervened.

Freeman took five for 52 as Boston finished on 186 for nine and was then unbeaten on 90, with his side’s total on 170 for five when the match was abandoned.

South Lincs & Border League

Premier Division

Grantham 2nd XI 123

Boston 2nd XI 93

Grantham welcomed Boston to Gorse Lane on Saturday hoping to record a much needed win.

On winning the toss, Grantham decided to bat first. At 12-3, this looked like the wrong decision until a partnership developed between Ian Robinson (31) and Rory Johnson (34).

Unfortunately, no other contributions of note were made, leaving Grantham bowled out for a seemingly below par 123, with Michael Troops and Andrew Hewitt the pick of the Boston bowlers.

Grantham came out into the field with a point to prove and the pressure told when Dan Gascoyne removed Rob Grant for eight. He was soon followed by Sean Barnett, Ben Troops, Chris Morley and William Tether, all thanks to the excellent bowling of the once retired Adam Parker.

Gascoyne took another wicket and Grantham were well on top. Rahul Kumar and Jake Unsworth then completed an excellent performance in the field by taking two wickets apiece, with the only resistance coming from Damien Lawson (41no), leaving Boston all out for 93.

Division Two

Pinchbeck 134

Belton Park 2nd 135-7

Belton Park 2nd registered their first win of the season at the fifth attempt with a hard earned three wicket victory over visitors Pinchbeck.

It would have been a stroll but for Pinchbeck opening bat Jackson who makes a habit of scoring runs against Belton. Jackson controlled his team’s innings with a fine 93, as wickets fell around him at regular intervals, until he became one of Will Helliwell’s five victims.

Helliwell (5-24) produced an excellent display with his first five wicket haul in senior cricket, removing Pinchbeck’s top four batsmen, and was ably supported by Andy Sheardown (3-21), almost 40 years his senior.

Belton got off to a good start in reply, reaching 60 before losing their second wicket, with Helliwell (27) showing his all-round qualities, supported by Tom Oates (19).

They were both dismissed by the aggressive Crook (5-20) soon after his introduction into the attack. Crook then set about the middle order reducing Belton to 98-6, with Jonathan O’Shea Pilkington contributing an invaluable 17.

With the game in danger of slipping away, the evergreen Pandula Abeysekera (18no), supported by Mick Coulson (6no), used all their experience to see Belton home and achieve a most welcome haul of 20 points.

Burgh & District 117

Grantham 4th XI 116

In what was a very close game, Grantham showed the strength and depths of its youngsters on Saturday.

After Burgh won the toss and elected to bat, they were soon under pressure as Jo Starbuck (4-21) and Will Abbott (2-12-4) ripped through the top order. The middle order for Burgh then dug in and eked out most of the total until the guile of Johnny Kennedy-Short (3-19) broke through and finished them off.

In response, the younger players showed how to resist the nagging line and slow pace of Terry Wilkinson (5-15). Wickets fell steadily and it was not until Harry Robinson (28) and Oliver Barry (22no) came to the crease that Grantham looked like they could see it home.

After having what looked like a boundary declared as a two and losing Robinson with only six runs needed to win, Grantham felt robbed when Kennedy-Short fell to a low one needing only two to win.