South Notts League
Thurgarton 109 all out
This top-of-the-league fixture was the focus of much speculation.
An outright win for Belvoir would see them pull yet further away from their closest contenders, whilst an outright loss could just tip the balance on the top spot. However, with rain forecast, an abandonment was an unwelcome possibility.
So – with the toss firmly won by skipper Tom Neville, and the match reduced to 40 overs – Belvoir invited Thurgarton to bat.
Opener Josh Downie powered his way to 25 from 21 balls before he was caught off Alex Forbes by Lewis Dann, one-handedly, high to the right.
Peter James saw to the dismissal of father-and-son combination Colin and Sam Cliff before Forbes’s attack culminated in the dismissal of Christian Dutton who, until caught deep on the boundary, had inflicted 49 from 28 balls.
Young Dan Gibson (5-4-8-5) was introduced and his utterly brilliant five-over spell saw Thurgarton collapse from 91-3 to 99-9. Seven of the 10 wickets to fall were the result of catches by seven individual fielders.
Following tea and a rain break, the run chase fell to the comfortable and assured hitting of Belvoir captain Neville and stalwart opener Olly Clayfield who calmly picked off the runs. Neville 60no (37) and Clayfield 40no (56) took only 18.3 overs to reach the target.
South Lincs & Border League
Sleaford 2nd 175 all out
Grantham travelled to Sleaford hoping to get back to winning ways and keep the pressure on Boston.
On winning the toss, Sleaford elected to bowl. Grantham’s openers got off to the perfect start, punishing any loose Sleaford bowling and pushing the score past 100 before Stewart Mudie departed for 40.
He was quickly followed by David Whapplington who made a well constructed 58. Rohan Nurse and Matt Wing continued the good work of the openers and pushed the score to 180 before Wing was bowled for 27.
Nurse (64no) continued to move the Grantham score on and he was ably supported by Rory Johnson (16no).
With the score on 242 with four balls remaining the rain came down heavily and cut short the Grantham innings.
After tea, the rain had stopped falling and Sleaford set about the task of overhauling the Grantham score.
Strike bowlers Joe Peck and Simon Oakes kept things tight but it was the introduction of Samuel Peters to the attack that saw the first wicket fall to Mark Fell in the slips. Peters then proved too good for the Sleaford captain who was clean bowled, leaving Sleaford in trouble on 32-2.
Sleaford got the score past 100 before Neil Stevenson made the important breakthrough thanks to a stumping by Johnson.
Going past 150, Sleaford then lost the important wicket of B. Bulmer thanks to a fine catch in the deep by Gareth Bennett off the bowling of Stevenson.
Stevenson (7-59) then bamboozled the remaining Sleaford batsman as the next five wickets fell for just 13 runs.
Hethersett & Tas-Valley 140-2
A touring side from Hethersett in Norfolk took on a strong Belvoir team in a friendly T20 game on Monday evening.
The visitors batted first and were held up by accurate bowling from Ross Denton, the miserly Danny Gibson and Sam Bicknell.
Ellis was neatly stumped by the vigilant Danny Ross. David Coyle (24no) was next to bat and fed the strike unselfishly to Paul Reeve who continued to strike out heartily until he was brilliantly caught running in and diving forward from long off by Gibson.
Belvoir’s chase began disastrously and at 13-4 they were in serious trouble. However, Harry Adams (60no) and the obdurate Ross Denton (22) set the foundering ship aright with a solid but aggressive 80-run fifth wicket stand.
Nevertheless, with three overs left, a sixth wicket fell and there were still 27 runs needed. Belvoir captain Matt Harland made a nonsense of any fears his team may have had by striking three sky-scraping sixes in his 12-ball 27no.