CRICKET: Barrowby win with five balls remaining in Grantham & Melton league

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Grantham & Melton Association

Division Three

Harlaxton 272-5

Barrowby 277-4

After being put in to bat, Harlaxton made an excellent start to their innings, scoring at a decent rate before the rain interrupted their progress halfway through, forcing the players off for an early tea.

Upon their return to the crease, Harlaxton continued their relentless assault, with S. Averill (90) and A. Parker (80) taking the score past 200.

M. Sharp (50no) finished the innings with a bang as the home side reached 272 from their 40 overs, with 14-year-old J. Creasey (2-56) and T. McCartan (1-32) producing respectable figures.

Facing a daunting task, Barrowby’s top order began at a rapid pace with A. Barnes and M. Veasey (49) keeping them ahead of the rate.

M. Knight (37) assisted Barnes as an unlikely run chase became possible. Barnes finished 145no as Barrowby completed a thrilling victory with five balls to spare.

A. Kettle (2-51) produced creditable figures for the home side.

Division One

Grantham 153-9

Belvoir 154-6

In what looked to be a fiercely competitive tie, Belvoir captain Lewis Dann took on his former team for the first time.

With ominous overhead conditions and a threat of rain, Belvoir won the toss and elected to field.

Belvoir started strongly with strike bowlers Gibson and Fentem both picking up early wickets to dismiss the Grantham openers.

Tight bowling in the middle overs from the likes of Sam Penford, and Ross Denton later on, kept the run rate down, with the sporadic taking of wickets – including some impressive catches in the field.

Grantham number five Danny Ashley top scored with a well earned 34 before being dismissed by Fentem in a final over in which three wickets fell. Adrian Wing made 22.

In reply, Belvoir started off rather shakily against a young Grantham attack, spearheaded by impressive 13-year-old Jacob Unsworth who removed the majority of the Belvoir top order, picking up 4-33 and showing a lot of promise for the future.

Watching many of his teammates fall, skipper Dann showed great determination and concentration to battle on. Joined by fellow former Grantham player Matt Harland with the score on 60-6, signs were not good with confidence high in the Grantham camp.

But despite the continued efforts of the Grantham bowlers, Dann and Harland would not be moved. With the rebuilding process very much in full flow, Belvoir took the attack to Grantham, with skipper Dann caressing the ball to all parts, whilst Harland bludgeoned a number of hefty sixes.

The runs continued to flow with Dann passing 50 as the winning target loomed into sight. Even with the impressive Unsworth back in the attack, it did little to halt the rampage and what had at one point been confidence had now been replaced by misery and imminent defeat for the visiting Grantham side.

And soon enough the comeback had been completed, with Dann smashing the final four to see his Belvoir side home from what had been an almost impossible position, himself finishing unbeaten on 75 accompanied by Harland on 37no – a match winning partnership of 94 to see Belvoir home to their fifth consecutive win.

South Notts League

Division B

Eastwood Town 250-5

Belvoir 251-2

In a match cut to 42 overs per side due to the threatening skies, Eastwood and Belvoir served up sunshine with the willow – 500 runs in 77 overs of clean hitting.

Eastwood began the onslaught with opener Adrian Marsh smashing 11 fours in an 82-ball innings of 66. Captain Neil Gregory (45) raced to 22 from his first 12 balls and shared in a third wicket partnership of 73 at a run-a-ball.

But these were as nothing compared to Ryan Elliot who plundered 47no from 23 deliveries, only six of which were dots on the scorecard. Seventy-three from the last six overs saw the home side to a very healthy 250-5.

For Belvoir, James Fellows (31) was a stalwart partner to his captain Tom Neville, his 13 singles showing how he fed the strike in an 83-run second wicket partnership off 63 balls.

Neville was dominant, driving through extra cover, straight and passed mid-on (104 of his 127 runs came forward of square). There were six long sixes, two from his favourite lazy pull-drive, and 13 fours to savour.

Not to be outdone, Lyndon James contributed 56no to an unbroken third wicket partnership of 141 in 115 balls. Although he hit four wonderful sixes through mid-wicket, the highlights of his knock were two driven fours through mid-off – sheer class.

South Lincs & Border League

Premier Division

Skegness 2nd 68 all out

Grantham 69-5

On winning the toss, Grantham had little hesitation in putting Skegness into bat on what looked like a wicket for the bowlers due to the poor weather on Friday.

Strike men Joe Peck and Charles Wright bowled well, taking a wicket apiece and leaving Skegness on 13-2. The visitors managed to get the score on to 35 without any more losses of wickets until Adam Parker removed R. Brant whose dismissal was quickly followed by L. Taylor thanks to the bowling of Neel Stevenson.

Again, Skegness managed a mini recovery, taking the score to 58 before Stevenson removed A. Sylvester thanks to a good catch by Mark Fell in the slips. This opened the door for Grantham to take wickets at regular intervals and the remaining wickets fell with Skegness only managing to get the score to 68.

Parker took four wickets and Stevenson three, with Wright taking a brace.

In reply, Grantham decided to make a few changes to the batting order to allow a few other players time in the middle, which could be important in future weeks.

Unfortunately, this did not work out as well as hoped as David Whapplington fell in the first over with the score on one. This was quickly followed by the loss of Martin Parmley with the score only one run further on, which gave Skegness a glimmer of hope.

Rory Johnson joined Stewart Mudie at the crease and the pair batted well to move the score on to 48 beforethe former was dismissed by R. Brant.

With the score on 53, Matt Wing and Wright fell in consecutive balls from the bowling of Skegness youngster G. Houlden. Gareth Bennett defended the hat trick ball and then went about helping Mudie in getting Grantham over the winning line, with the later finishing on 29 not out.

Grantham again gained maximum points from the game which saw them reach the top of the league.

Division One

Grantham 2nd 202-7

Heckington 39 all out

Grantham got back to winning ways with a comprehensive win over Heckington.

After losing the toss, Grantham got off to a watchful start on a lively track before Ady Wing was out to a ball that kept low.

Tim Mihill (23) forged ahead with the classy Ollie Clawson (35) and, when Mihill was out, Danny Ashley then top scored with 49, pushing the total to 202.

Heckington lost early wickets with Lewis Greetham, Jacob Unsworth and Will Abbott all chipping in, but the day belonged to Ashley who capped a fine all round performance with four wickets, with the visitors rolling the home side for 39.

Division Two

Grantham 3rd 44 all out

Freiston 46-2

Grantham travelled to a damp Freiston and, after being put into bat, were quickly in trouble and skittled out for 44.

Despite tight bowling from Hackney and Kumar, who each claimed a wicket, it was not enough to change the outcome.

A bad day at the office.