South Lincs & Border League
Belton Park 2nd 129
Belton elected to bat first on a difficult Heckington wicket and, after losing an early wicket, appeared to be on course for a challenging total, with a 50-run partnership from Michael Gilbert (33) supported by Richard Cocks (14).
However, there then followed a middle order collapse as Belton were reduced to 97-7, with Damon Tunnicliffe (5-39) causing the damage. A swift 30 from Michael Paige ensured a respectable total but Belton made the cardinal sin of not batting out their overs, being dismissed in only the 33rd over.
Heckington were soon put on the back foot as they were reduced to 21-3 from Belton’s pace attack of Tom Ward (2-24) and Will Helliwell (2-25). However, as the game progressed, the wicket became lifeless, and with 57 overs available for the run chase, it turned into a war of attrition.
Wickets continued to fall at regular intervals and, at 65-6, Belton seemed clear favourites.
However Tunnicliffe, with a dogged 49 not out, supported by Gibson (8), put on 35 for the eighth wicket and finally saw Heckington home in the 52nd over.
Much credit must go to Belton’s young bowling attack for their durability and economy rate, particularly the 15-year-old pairing of James Ward (1-23) and Nitesh Shyam (1-23).