South Lincs & Border League
Belton Park 187-8
Spalding 2nd 114
Belton Park registered their first win of the season in bitterly cold conditions for the time of year.
Having been asked to bat first, Belton openers Dan Reynolds (16) and Richard Cocks (31) combined good defence with attractive strokeplay to see off Spalding’s new ball attack, for whom Dring was particularly impressive.
With the score at 69-2, Rohan Perera was joined by 16-year-old Matthew Law and together they doubled the score. Perera started circumspectly but then opened his shoulders to hit an excellent 50, but it was Law (57no) who particularly caught the eye with an array of superbly timed strokes all around the ground.
There followed a clatter of wickets in the search for quick runs towards the end of the innings, with Hussain (4-42) the most successful bowler, before Tom Ward (15) provided Law with the support to set a testing target.
Spalding’s reply started disastrously as they were reduced to 5-3 by a fine spell of hostile, fast bowling from 16-year-old Tom Ward.
Good support from Will Rich (2-27) and Gavin Clarke (2-22) did further damage as Spalding slumped to 43-6, before offering resistance from Hussain (25) and Juckes (26).
The re-introduction of Ward into the attack quickly concluded matters as he finished with the excellent figures of 5-18 off 10 overs, with Belton earning a deserved victory by 73 runs.
South Notts League
If ever a man deserved a century, it was Ali Haynes of Collingham.
The opener carried his bat through the whole innings, scoring 73 per cent of his side’s runs from the bat.
Indeed it was more than one innings. He built steadily, had a period of acceleration and, as wickets tumbled around him, he scrapped and conjured up runs like a veteran.
At the non-striker’s end it, was all about the bowling. Danny Gibson worked up a head of steam, capturing the first two wickets, helped by an outstanding diving catch at cover-point by debutant Greg Oldfield.
A shrewd bowling change by captain Tom Neville saw Lyndon James (3-17) tear the heart out of Collingham’s middle-order. Olly Elson (3-15) scrooged a few overs and then trapped the obstinate Jonathan Todd LBW to end any hope Collingham had of a decent total. Greg Oldfield (2-12) tidied up the tail, leaving Haynes cruelly six runs short of his ton.
Jack Copley (32) started hauling in Collingham’s meagre score with a punchy display, including four sweetly struck drives through the covers. At the other end, the busy Greg Oldfield (62no) gave the third man the run around with a series of accurately placed late cuts. These were interspersed with vigorous forcing shots through mid-wicket, including one mighty six.
However, David Sears (2-29) and Chad Batty (2-46) were still on the case. The former nagged miserly away with little luck and the latter ran in to bowl with express pace.
With Belvoir at 90-4, there was still a glimmer of hope for Collingham. Enter Lewis Dann (17no) to deny the bowlers any more damage with a stalwart display of defence, with a sprinkling of aggressive shots.