CRICKET: Grantham CC fail in their bid to get season back on track
ECB Premier League
Market Rasen 135-5
Following a disappointing loss to Woodhall Spa last week, Grantham travelled to Market Rasen keen to pick up some points and get the season on track.
Grantham lost the toss and were asked to bat on a sticky, difficult track. Unfortunately, the wickets fell regularly throughout the innings as Grantham limped to 133.
Tight bowling from Matthew Rutherford (3-22) forced errors and James Fussey (4-40) ripped through the tail-enders. The scorecard told the story with six batsmen caught in the outfield.
It was a positive start to the second innings, however, and Grantham started with promise, taking the first three wickets for just 19. The flame was quickly extinguished when Liam Scales (38) and Matthew Rutherford (41no) showed unwavering patience as they waited for the bad ball and punished it.
Despite the best efforts of the bowlers, Rasen cruised to victory in the 47th over. Pick of the bowlers was Joe Peck (3-39).
South Lincs & Border League
Grantham 2nd 175-7
Spalding won the toss and invited Grantham to bat, and after losing the in-form Martin Parmley and Danny Ashley in quick succession, it looked a good decision to bowl.
Grantham clawed their way back into the game with contributions from Ollie Clawson and Gaz Bennett, but it was Simon Oakes who took the game away from Spalding with a hard-earned 74no. Support came from James Cameron-Clarke (27) and Adrian Wing (12no) to inch the total up to a challenging 175.
Spalding’s reply started in gritty fashion as Adam Parker (0-17) and Danny Ashley with 3-33 made it difficult to score in the early overs.
The middle overs drifted for Grantham but the scene was set for the returning Joe Farmer who picked up a wicket with his first ball.
The game was then put beyond any doubt as skipper Ady Wing then picked up 5-30 to leave Spalding well short of the target with nine wickets down, making it two wins in two weeks.
Belton Park 153-7
Moulton Harrox 133
On a cold blustery day at Moulton, it was Belton’s crop of talented youngsters that again came to the fore, marshalled by the intelligent and motivational captaincy of Alan Ward.
After losing an early wicket, two of Belton’s very experienced stalwarts built a platform for the innings, with Rohan Perera hitting a brisk 28 and Richard Cocks a determined 32, playing his trade mark anchor role.
With the score on 90-4, 14-year-old Jonny Law was joined by 16-year-old Alex Wheeler and together they produced a superb partnership of 63 runs.
Law, playing with maturity beyond his years, showed his considerable potential with a sublime 53 from only 55 balls, supported by Wheeler (21no) as they ran Moulton ragged with imaginative stroke play and aggressive running between the wickets.
Any fears Belton’s total was a few runs light were soon dispelled as 17-year-old Will Rich (2-39) struck with two quick wickets to reduce Moulton to 14-2. Jake Pollard then ripped the heart out of the Moulton innings with an excellent return of 6-38, supported by fine catches from Josh Asprey and Law.
At 65-7, the game appeared to be over but to Moulton’s credit their lower order dug in, and with Bayston hitting a defiant 29, Belton were required to hold their nerve.
Control was brought to proceedings by Ward with a miserly 2-15 off his nine overs, fittingly taking the final wicket as Belton ran out winners by 20 runs.
Grantham 3rd 146-8
On losing the toss, Grantham were put into bat. With two early wickets lost, Grantham looked to have another batting collapse however Fergus Myles (39) and Chris Hall (22) steadied the ship.
This enabled the tail to wag with runs coming in the final 10 overs. Contributions including Jake Unsworth (22) and Will Abbot (21no) gave Grantham a shout of winning an important fixture.
Grantham did not get the best of the starts, and soon the ball was flying to the boundary in all directions.
However at 89-2, an entire middle order collapse saw Heckington bowled out for 94. Myles (5-22) had an outstanding game, causing the batsman problems, and Phil Abbot (2-15) kept it tight at his end with Will Abbot(1-25) bowling well at the start and also caused a run out.
Grantham 4th 118-9
Damp and windy conditions gave Baston an early advantage after winning the toss and putting Grantham into bat.
Progress was slow as the in-form Dave Langford (30) again showed his talents, whilst wickets continued to fall.
Jaden Fell was the pick of the youngsters with 17. Donnellan came in for a late flurry, finishing 15no. Grantham lasted out the overs with one wicket remaining.
In reply, Baston also struggled in the conditions with Harry Robinson removing the opener with an unplayable swerver.
Ian Robinson then kept up the pressure with 2-23 off 12. Grantham youngsters again showed promise with Jaden fell picking up 1-17 and Mason Hildreth limiting Baston to 22 runs from seven overs.
Newcomer Nick Hildreth gave Baston some real problems as he took 2-25. As conditions improved, Baston powered home to claim the winning points.