CRICKET: Grantham firsts up to fourth after final over victory
Lincolnshire ECB Premier League
Sleaford 1st XI 270-6
Grantham 1st XI 271-5
Grantham finally managed to avoid the rain after four weeks of washouts and travelled to local rivals Sleaford.
When captain Dan Webb won the toss, Sleaford may have been surprised when they were asked to bat. They set about the task with confidence and Tom Shorthouse (34) and Andy Hibberd (22) had an opening partnership of 60.
James Keast made the breakthrough which brought Obus Pienaar to the crease. Pienaar settled in for the duration of the innings and hit 17 boundaries on the way to 125no. Keast was pick of the bowlers with figures of 3-55.
The Grantham batsmen knew they were going to need to get off to a positive start if they were going to have any chance of chasing the total and that’s exactly what Ross Carnelley (30) and James Dobson (39) gave them. The opening pair punished any over-pitched bowling and amassed 68 before Carnelley was dismissed by a sharp catch in the slips.
Dobson was dismissed shortly afterwards and Dan Webb (73) continued the assault on the Sleaford bowling attack. Ben Powell added 23 before having to make way for Matt Wing who batted brilliantly for an unbeaten 69.
Grantham chipped away at the score until they crossed the line in the final over. A fantastic victory for Grantham moved them up to fourth and to within 15 points of the league leaders Market Deeping.
South Lincs & Border League
Grantham 2nd XI 154
Sleaford 2nd XI 155-5
Grantham 2nd XI welcomed Sleaford seconds to Gorse lane and on winning the toss decided to bat first.
Unfortunately, Grantham lost some early wickets and found themselves in trouble at 38-3. A good partnership between S. Mudie (55) and J. Fell (41) rescued the situation before the wicket of Mudie fell with the score on 108. Another wicket fell with the score still on 108.
R. Johnson (26) helped to get the scoreboard moving but wickets fell in a cluster to leave Grantham all out for 154. G. Goddard and L. Hollingsworth were the pick of the Sleaford bowlers.
In reply, D. Gascoyne quickly removed L. Hollingsworth to leave Sleaford 1-1. A partnership of 51 between S. Godby (25) and K. Colyn (29) then developed before Gascoyne removed the latter and then took out Godby with the score on 70-3.
C. Wright took two wickets to leave Sleaford on 108-5 and the game was finely balanced before D. Harrop (37) and B. Bulmer (19) took it away from Grantham to win by five wickets.
Heckington 1st XI 96
Grantham 3rd XI 98-8
Grantham travelled away to bottom Heckington and on winning the toss decided to bowl on a very green wicket.
Grantham bowled with excellent line and length to keep the score to 96 with Will Abbot, Craig Corby and Louis Greetham each taking two wickets, however Phil Abbot (4-14) was pick of the bowlers.
With a below par score to chase, Grantham’s batsmen made it look difficult, losing wickets at regular intervals, with only Dominic Priestley (37) making any real contributions.
However, the total was reached and Grantham took a much needed 20 points as they travel to Moulton Harrox this Saturday.
Grantham 4th XI 147-8
Belton Park 2nd XI 148-9
In a thrilling finish, Belton Park overcame neighbours Grantham by one wicket with two balls to spare.
Grantham got off to a steady start through openers Mark Donnellan and Ryan Wilson-Law (16) until Will Helliwell got into his stride and continued his good form, taking 3-28 off his 12 overs. Donnellan held the Grantham innings together and received good support from the promising Ethan Milne with an aggressive 26.
The introduction of Andy Sheardown (3-8) into the attack finally brought an end to Donnellan’s defiant innings of 56 as Grantham ensured they used all their overs to post a respectable total.
Belton made a stuttering reply and were reduced to 41-5 due to some consistent bowling from the impressive Milne (4-40) and Mohammad Bhat (3-28) off their 12 over spells. Opener Richard Cocks was joined by Tom Oates (40) as sensible positive batting produced a 66-run partnership to set up an excellent finish, as they repelled the experienced Paul Sanders who was unlucky to finish wicketless, conceding just 26 runs off his 12 overs.
Cocks, playing his trademark anchor role, finally fell for an effective 49, and when Pandura Abeysekara (12) was dismissed, Belton still required six to win with the last pair at the wicket. Sheardown (5no) and young James Ward (1no) saw Belton over the line to register back to back victories after a difficult start to the season.
Newborough 1st XI 108
Grantham Sunday 1st XI 112-8
An under-strength Grantham travelled to Newborough for a game that would prove tight from start to finish.
On winning the toss, Newborough chose to bat but lost opener Joe Malton for a duck off a run out. From there, wickets fell regularly with the most notable batting performance coming from number nine Kyeran Ellery who scored an unbeaten 39.
Wickets were picked up across the board, including three from Jaden Fell.
Grantham then took up their bats, enthused by what they believed to be a chaseable total. The opening pair of James Dobson and Rory Johnson started well, scoring 34 and 39 respectively, however the sudden fall of wickets triggered a batting collapse which nearly saw Grantham fall short of the total.
Single figures innings followed for the rest of the batsmen as Grantham only just managed to make it to the total with a single wicket in hand.
Grantham & Melton Association
Skillington 1st XI 111
Grantham Sunday 2nd XI 114-2
On arrival on a glorious day, Grantham lost the toss and were asked to field.
Grantham’s young bowling attack set to work on the Skillington line-up, with Ethan Milne, Jarad Hackney, Louis Greetham and Harry Robinson all taking two wickets apiece.
The final two wickets of the day were picked up by Sean Nel and Harvey Stevens, leaving Skillington all out for just 111.
Opening the batting with the experience of Alex Hackney, Grantham set about chasing the total. The loss of an early wicket at the hands of Luke Porter saw Louis Greetham fall for one, however the partnership of Alex and Ian Robinson soon blossomed, with Alex scoring 38 before the fall of his wicket.
From there on came young Milne, who with along with Ian Robinson (45no) amassed 15 runs to see Grantham reach their target for the loss of just two wickets.