CRICKET: Low scores are order of the day in Lincoln League

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Sills & Betteridge Solicitors Lincoln League

With the exception of one match which produced over 400 runs on the day, low scores were the order of the day with no less than nine sides failing to make three figure scores.

Division One

The season’s equal closest finish so far was at Ancaster where the newly promoted side hosted Woodhall Spa 2nd.

Both sides had lost their last games and, whilst Woodhall were unbeaten on the road this season, Ancaster had yet to lose at home since joining the league in 2015.

Batting first, Woodhall set a score of 175-7 with opener Henry Wilson making a top score of 68, supported by Jack Luffman with 36. For Ancaster, Matt Lyon took 3-31 and Matt Hodgkin 3-36.

In reply, Hodgkin was then the home side’s top scorer with 41 but the match was to finish on a knife edge.

Going into the last over with five wickets in hand, Alex King was Woodhall’s bowler with Lyon and Ian Whatton at the wicket as the home side needed 11 for victory. King opened with two dot balls but then saw a four, a single and a two off his next three. Needing a four off the last ball, Whatton hit two to see Ancaster lose by just one run.

Lyon was unbeaten on 21 with Whatton 11 not out, while King took 2-40 and Sam Cooke 2-31. Victory lifted Woodhall into second position in the table, three points ahead of Boston, but 68 behind Cherry Willingham who have played two games more.

A bottom of the table clash with two winless sides coming together saw Fulbeck take on Heighington.

Batting first, Heighington were in immediate trouble with both openers out with only seven on the board. Ian Tomlinson then weighed in with a top score of 40 but with no other batsmen making a score above 12, they were bowled out for just 99. Pick of the home bowlers was Joe Braithwaite with 4-33.

In reply, Fulbeck also lost an early wicket but Jake Pollard then made an unbeaten 48 to see his side to an eight wicket victory inside 18 overs.

Division Two

Billingborough were after their first win in four as they took on Blankney who were after a first away victory.

Batting first, the home side made 177 with James Zealand making 61 and Aaron Pullum 45. For Blankney Ian Holvey took 4-44 and Neil Gilbert 3-25.

In reply, in a rain interrupted innings, Blankney reached their target for the loss of four wickets with two overs to spare. David Thomas top scored with 51, supported by Dave Pearse (41) and Stewart Pick (31).

Division Three

Barkston and Syston were the visitors at Bassingham.

After suffering defeat in their opening two games, since joining the league Barkston and Syston were unbeaten in their last two games. Home side Bassingham had yet to win at home although they had won their last away match.

Batting first, Bassingham were yet to hit a three figure home total and this was to continue as they were bowled out for only 81. Opener Nick Crook got more than half of this total, making 44, with Steve Wilson taking 4-3 of 4.2 overs.

The visitors lost three wickets of their own before Dave Modd saw his side home with an unbeaten 47.

+ Sadly the local cricket scene saw the passing of another excellent servant to our summer game as we report the untimely death of Steve Massingham.

Steve had been involved in local cricket for many, many years, both as a player and more recently as a much respected umpire. He was the Fixture Secretary for the League between 1997 and 2004 but without doubt his forte was obviously as an umpire where he rose to the level of the Minor Counties Umpires Panel.

He was the popular chairman of the Lincs. ECB Premier League Umpires Panel, the chairman of the Lincoln & District Cricket Umpires & Scorers Association and until recently the chairman of the Lincolnshire Association of Cricket Officials.