Lincolnshire ECB Premier League
Grantham 1st XI 99
Market Deeping 1st XI 102-7
The front runners in the league table met for the first time this season under heavy cloud cover on Saturday.
With Grantham out in front, this was a great opportunity to start pulling away from the group and cement their spot at the top of the table. This made the nature of Grantham’s defeat even more disappointing.
Having lost the toss and been asked to bat, Lee Peacock (6-41) started tearing in to the Grantham top order. Five wickets fell for 80 runs and, despite a dogged effort from Ben Powell (22), Grantham fell well short of an acceptable total, having fallen one run short of reaching three figures.
In response, Grantham started well, with wickets falling at regular intervals but, unsurprisingly, Market Deeping passed Grantham’s total, having conceded seven wickets.
Joe Peck (4-34) and Dan Freeman (3-39) bowled 33 overs between them, but their efforts could not halt Grantham’s demise.
If the side wants to compete this year, they are going to have to do it the hard way with a tough run of games in the next few weeks.
South Lincs & Border League
Market Deeping 2nd XI 226-3
Grantham 2nd XI 164-6
Grantham travelled to Market Deeping hoping to make it three wins on the trot.
Deeping batted first on what turned out to be a belter of a wicket. The first wicket fell with the score on 36, thanks to some tight bowling from Danny Ashley. A partnership of 87 followed between R. Witt (67) and J. Smith (33), before Rahul Kumar removed the latter. He was quickly followed by the removal of R. Witt by Joe Farmer, leaving two fresh batsman at the crease.
But with some lusty blows, both R. Harris and R. Hyman scored 43no to take the score to 226-3 from their allotted 45 overs.
The Grantham reply never really got started as two early wickets saw them 19-2. A partnership of 39 between Stewart Mudie (30) and Rory Johnson (14) took the score to 58, before Rory Johnson was removed.
This wicket brought 13-year-old Jaden Fell to the crease and, as wickets fell around him, he batted with maturity beyond his years.
With the score on 93-6, Gaz Bennett (23no) joined the youngster at the crease and a partnership of 71 followed to take the score to a respectable 164-6, with the star of the Grantham batting being Fell who scored a classy 59no, much to the delight of both teams and the umpires.
Rutland & District League
Whittlesey Sunday 1st XI 175-9
Grantham Sunday 1st XI 174
Grantham travelled to Whittlesey on a drizzly, grey day.
Having won the and elected to field, it looked like it was to be a short match when wickets started tumbling.
Strike bowlers Joe Peck (4-21) and Jamie Brumby (4-31) started strongly, reducing the home side to 49-7, before Andy Phillips (61no) and Ian Jones (53) combined for a stand of 111.
Conditions did not improve and wickets fell at regular intervals as Grantham set about chasing the score.
Billy Holmes batted positively for his 51 runs and Matthew Wing worked very hard for his 34. With the score on 127-8, all seemed lost for the visiting side until Joe Peck (18) and Jake Unsworth (12) steadied the ship and combined for a 40-run partnership.
Unsworth was dismissed, caught and bowled, and final batsman Danny Ashley (12no) helped get Grantham to within three runs of the total in the final over. With a single off the first delivery, Peck was on strike with five balls to go and two runs required to win.
It ended in disappointment for the visitors, however, when Peck was given out to a contentious LBW decision, leaving Grantham two runs short of victory.
Grantham lost their spot at the top of the table but still remain well clear of third place as they enter the second half of the season.
There were two out of three wins for Grantham this week, with the girls team conclusively beaten by Woodhall Spa, but the boys under-13s and under-15s claimed victories. Top performers were Jaden Fell (30no), Ethan Milne (32no) and Angus Owen (27no).