CRICKET: Austen powers Grantham to victory

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South Lincs & Border League

Division Three

Grantham 247-6

Welby 202 all out

BATTING first on the excellent wicket from the Lincolnshire Minor Counties game earlier in the week, Grantham reached 247-6. Austen Imber hit 157no

and Alex Hackney 24no.

Promising youngsters Ben Kennedy-Short and Alex Hartley dealt well with Welby’s attack. Richard Parrish (3-25) and Paul Frith (2-34) bowled economically, and Ali Sloss regularly beat the bat.

In reply, Welby maintained the run rate through Frith (51), Sloss (31), Richard Dodd (29) and Alan Bond (28). As later wickets fell, Imber (4-32) and Hackney (2-56) left Welby at 202 all out in a game that could have gone either way.

South Notts League

Division A

Belvoir 241-6

Clifton Village 213 all out

BELVOIR captain James Clayfield was confident of success ahead of this fixture and did not hesitate to bat upon winning the toss.

Jack Copley and James Needle made a solid start but the latter fell to a sound catch in the fifth over. Olly Clayfield joined Jack, who departed to make way for the filial partnership. The Clayfields batted together comfortably until Olly was unfortunate to be stumped off a wide ball.

Anthony Dyer and James put on a further 53. Expectations for a half-century from the skipper were high but he was caught, just a boundary short. Dyer fell four overs later.

A unbroken 95 partnership between James Keywood and Sam Cliff steadied the ship.

Despite Bozzy claiming the wicket of Paul Macmillan in the early stages, it was some considerable time before Belvoir managed to further their inroads into the Clifton score.

Olly turned the game with a wicket from his first ball and and then again two overs later, claiming the McDermott brothers, both of whom looked set for big scores.

With Scott and Craig Fairhall amassing a late partnership of 49, it was Dan Gibson (5-41) who found a way through to the stumps of both. With four balls remaining, Dan delivered the ultimate gift of a clean-bowled 10th wicket, marking his maiden first XI five-wicket haul.

Grantham & Melton Association

Division One

Ashby Carington 226-7

Buckminster 127 all out

A STRONG looking Buckminster side arrived at Ashby Carington in a meeting between last year’s champions and this year’s pretenders to the throne.

Ashby skipper Masserrella chose to bat which initially looked to be the wrong decision with Bucky strike bowlers Stafford and Berry proving hard to score off and picking up the early wickets of both openers with few runs on the board.

Ashby fought back although Stafford took the wicket of number three Naik for 27. The late order added valuable runs to leave Ashby a respectable total.

Buckminster were in aggressive mode from the outset with both openers going hard at the ball until the impressive Dyer trapped Gott LBW. Berry continued alongside Morgan and Allen to try and smash the ball to all parts, one memorable shot being a monster six, pulled off a long hop over the longest boundary at the Ashby oval.

Thereafter, Allen apart, Buckminster’s batsmen came and went at regular intervals to leave their run chase in tatters. Allen eventually fell to Dyer for 28 and Ashby proceeded to mop up the Bucky tail.

Division Two

Rothley Park 302-9

Grantham 281-6

ROTHLEY got off to a steady start on a very nice batting track, scoring 50 inside the first 10 overs.

At drinks they had progressed to 120-3. Ward realised at drinks that six an over would not be enough with such a short boundary and proceeded to smash his way 173, including 11 sixes. Wickets were taken by Kumar (3), Imber (3), Wing (2) and Dann.

Grantham then got off to a disastrous start, losing two quick wickets. But they were not out of the chase as Matthew Wing (88) and Stewart Mudie (150) added a massive 243 for the third wicket in 32 overs.

The game went right down to the wire as Wing was dismissed with 46 needed from four overs. Despite some late hitting from Mudie, which enabled him to raise his bat for the third time, Grantham fell short of what would have been a remarkable run chase.

Division Three

Queniborough 228-5

Colsterworth 128 all out

QUENIBOROUGH began well with captain J. Vamplew (43) and Mashru (36) sharing a partnership of 94 before the skipper chipped a ball straight back to Grosse two overs before the drinks break.

W. Vamplew (18no) and W. Hussey (33no) built a partnership of 60 in the last 10 overs, pushing Queniborough to a reasonable total.

Colsterworth’s openers, Gardener (13) and Grosse (15), started brightly with early boundaries before C. Smith dismissed both. Captain R. Edwards proved to be the only sustained resistance, hitting a brilliant 51 before being bowled by J. Kilby. Queniborough’s Patel picked up the wickets of Humphries (0) and C. Atter (10).

Houghton on the Hill 276-5

Foston 260 all out

FOSTON just fell short of their target after a thrilling run chase that saw century makers for both sides.

Put into bat, Houghton lost an early wicket but Griggs soon showed that Foston were going to have an uphill battle, and they were made to pay for several dropped catches against the opener as he went on to make an impressive 142 before being bowled by leading wicket taker Marris.

Belcham made a fine supporting role scoring 74 before being run out after sharp fielding from Gash.

The reply from Foston started well enough and the run rate remained constant in the early overs until Swatton was bowled for 11. In a mirror of the Houghton innings, his partner R. Carpenter was imperious at the crease and thoroughly deserved his 125 which included very few singles.

Warren provided good support for his 28 and for a brief moment, as Cockerton hit a beautifully timed four off pace man Griggs, Coulson and Cockerton looked like they would repeat the heroics of the previous week.

However it was not to be. Coulson was finally bowled for 24 and Foston finished just 16 runs short.