CRICKET: Belton Park race to emphatic victory over Grantham
South Lincs & Border League
Belton Park 60-3
In a one-sided local derby, Belton Park swept aside the town side with an emphatic seven-wicket win to leap-frog them in the SLBL Premier Division table.
Opting to bat first on a pitch tinged with a green hue, Grantham raced to 26 from the first six overs, peppering the boundary both square and behind the wicket.
But they were pegged back by young tiro Tom Ward (4-20), who bowled with great pace and control, forcing James Cameron-Clarke (10) to play on, and then claimed the scalp of Grantham’s ex-first team skipper first ball.
Ollie Clawson (17) was next to go and this heralded a procession as fine fielding, with three run-outs and Jake Pollard (2-13) and Luke Pollard (1 7) mopping up the tail, with the town side dismissed in just 20 overs.
Jake Pollard (31no) made light work of the Grantham bowlers as he smashed Adam Parker and Simon Oakes out of the attack.
He was supported by Matt Law (11), before he was one of three batsmen to be adjudged out to the niggardly medium pace of Rahul Kumar (3-20).
However, Belton Park raced to victory in the 14th over.
Belton Park 2nd 149-7
A youthful Belton Park recorded their first win of the season at Timberland on Saturday.
Belton started well with the accurate Ali Danman (2-22 off 12 overs) reducing the home side to 31-3.
Timberland had Harry Wright (61) to thank for enabling them to post a competitive score as wickets fell around him at regular intervals, with 16-year-old Max Hubbard (3-28) the most successful bowler.
Chasing 148, Belton lost an early wicket but a good partnership of 62 between Richard Cocks (18) and Will Helliwell (46), who produced some fine drives, put Belton in control.
However, Belton’s middle order had a wobble as several batsmen had a start but then got themselves out.
It was left to the promising 14-year-old Liam Parker (19) and Hubbard (16no), both patiently waiting to punish the bad ball, to see Belton home by three wickets.
ECB Premier League
Market Deeping 204
Following the success against Spalding last week, Grantham were in high spirits as they prepared to play only their second home game of the league campaign against Market Deeping.
An injury in the warm-up to wicketkeeper Josh Mihill was a setback but, after numerous phone calls, Rory Johnson stepped in and the team were ready to go again once more.
Captain Rohan Nurse won the toss and inserted the opposition on a green seamer; a decision vindicated when strike bowler Joe Peck struck in just the third over. However, wickets were hard to come by and the patience and experience of Deeping’s batsmen meant they were soon scoring freely.
Grantham’s bowlers showed a characteristic lack of discipline and extras mounted up: something that they must address. However, they did take a flurry of wickets late on, thanks to Karanjit Bansal (5-61), to give them some momentum as they began to bat.
However, the aggressive line of Deeping’s strike bowlers, Thomas Andrews and Patrick Brown, caused Grantham problems early on and wickets began to tumble.
Captain Nurse top scored for Grantham with 40 but no-one else troubled the scorers much beyond double figures.
A difficult day was brought to a farcical conclusion when the final batsman was run out following a dropped catch.
South Notts League
Long Eaton 128
Two wickets for Danny Gibson (2-19) in successive overs put the kibosh on Long Eaton’s steady start.
Captain Tom Pepper and the dashing Lerato Kgoatle (32) stabilised the situation until the introduction of Greg Oldfield (4-26) whose first over saw them both dismissed.
Bret Scothern and Kieran Cooke both batted with panache but fell to the wiles of Lewis Dann (3-28) as Long Eaton struggled past the 100 mark. Mention should also be made of Alan Villiers, whose violent 11 (one six and one four) at number 10 amounted to the eventual winning margin.
Overall it was a typically excellent bowling and fielding display by Belvoir. The champagne catch was a low blaster held by skipper Tom Neville at silly mid-off.
In reply, Josh Sharpe had just got going when he was one of two wickets in successive balls for Long Eaton’s man-of-the-match Villiers (19-6-61-6).
It was Jack Copley (35) and Tom Neville’s turn to steady the boat, but at 50 the latter was well caught by Kieran Cooke off the warhorse Villiers. Dann and Louis Holliday (27) were obdurate for the next 13 overs, scuttling the score along to 93-4.
However, Long Eaton’s other tireless bowling beast of burden, the naggingly accurate Andy Edge (3-31), then had Dann trapped lbw.
Ryan Lewis and Gibson were both gritty in defence but could not edge the total closer than 11 runs in the end.
Villiers’ spell was a model in annoying precision and senior guile, as well as a feat of stamina. Also worth mentioning was a brilliant catch in the covers by Pepper.
Grantham & Melton
Grantham team welcomed Queningborough to Gorse Lane on Sunday in what was expected to be a keenly -contested game.
The visitors won the toss and invited Grantham to bat first on a green, bouncy wicket.
Openers Stewart Mudie and captain Rohan Nurse got them off to a fabulous start with a 100-run opening partnership. Both batsmen looked accomplished, playing some lovely shots on both sides of the wicket.
Nurse brought up his half century in 30 balls but his opening partner Mudie fell just short when he was dismissed for 49. Nurse eventually fell for 75 when the score was on 142. In the final overs, Matthew Wing, who scored 31no, navigated the team safely to 191-6 in their 40 overs.
In response, Queningborough got off to a disastrous start, losing their first three wickets for 10 runs, with early inroads being made by Danny Ashley, who took 4-35, and Louis Greetham (2-23).
Support was provided by Neel Stevenson who has continued his fine form with the ball and took 3-23.
Queningborough put up a good fight, with Ateeq ur Rehman making 35 and Mehboob Pandor contributing an exciting 45.
In the end, the target of 191 was too much for the visitors and Grantham ran out comfortable winners by 38 runs.