South Lincs & Border League
Welby 169 all out
On winning the toss, Grantham asked Welby to bat.
Strike bowlers Simon Oakes and Joe Peck soon made early breakthroughs which found Welby losing their first four wickets for five runs, with both taking two wickets apiece.
With Welby in a lot of trouble, opener J. Tickler was looking to stick around whilst M. Gilbert was taking risks. This pair took the score to 100 before Gilbert departed for 53 thanks to the bowling of Neel Stevenson. His departure saw Tickler having to take more risks before he was caught by wicket keeper Rory Johnson, again off the bowling of Stevenson.
N.Bottomley and J. Bottomley continued to push the Welby score on before N.Bottomley departed with the score on 157-7. The remaining wickets fell quickly with Stevenson finishing with five wickets, Peck three and Oakes two.
In reply, Grantham lost opener Stewart Mudie early to a good catch in the slips, off the bowling of M. Whatton. This brought together David Whapplington and Martin Parmley who scored freely and took the score up to 82, before Whapplington was out for 33 off the bowling of D. Curran.
Parmley passed his 50 before he was dismissed by Curran for 57. With 37 runs required, Mark Fell (32no)and Matt Wing (20no) batted well to see Grantham home for a maximum points win with three overs to spare, securing the top of the league place.
Claypole 330 all out
Grantham 3rd 81 all out
Batting first, Claypole took full advantage of a short boundary and put Grantham’s bowlers to the sword, in particular Rob Pealing who scored 180. It was left to Charlotte Cross to stem the tide with a season best (6-80-12).
Once the top three had departed, Grantham eventually made some headway and gained five valuable bowling points.
After a very long day in the field, Grantham were unable to get any batting momentum going with only Rahul Kumar showing any resistance with a lusty 22.
Grantham & Melton
Houghton on the Hill 190-4
Grantham won the toss and chose to bat first against undefeated Houghton.
Once again, openers P. Johnson (24) and S. Mudie gave Grantham a solid platform, putting on 46 for the first wicket.
At 55-2, Grantham set about rebuilding the innings, with Mudie and M. Wing putting together a 100-run partnership.
After another brilliant innings, the in-form Mudie was dismissed for an impressive 89. Wing scored a quick 47.
Grantham took wickets at regular intervals thanks to superb bowling by Joe Peck (2-19). He was backed up by Neel Stevenson and C. Wright who took three wickets apiece.
Although Grantham were taking wickets, Houghton were still scoring runs relatively freely and were favourites to win when they needed just seven off the last over.
But thanks to outstanding bowling from D. Ashley at the death, Houghton finished just short in a nail-biting finish.
Buckminster won the toss and elected to bat first.
Through the reliable strike pairing of Fentem (2-37) and Gibson (2-49,) Belvoir reduced Buckminster to 39-3 off 15 overs. But this brought captain Jamie Morgan to the crease who smashed 42 from 20 balls, including five sixes, and Belvoir were relieved when Denton (2-49) got Morgan stumped.
This brought Jack Berry to the crease, who bludgeoned 84 from 38 balls, including nine sixes). He was well supported by Tim Gadsby who finished on 43no.
Belvoir opener James Fellows and 15-year old-Lyndon James took to the crease knowing they were chasing six an over from the beginning. Neither looked fazed by the scoreboard pressure, and calmly went about their business by reaching 57-0 in the first 10 overs.
Both men caressed the ball around the ground with ease and went to their 50s before drinks. Fellows (64) was caught off a leading edge, but James (124no) went on to notch up a brilliant century. He was well supported by Lewis Dann (34no) and Belvoir knocked the runs off inside 35 overs.
Barkston 176 all out
Having been put into bat on a decent wicket, Barrowby made a steady if unspectacular start, but were pegged back by tight bowling from A. Jameson (2-34).
Barrowby were forced to create a solid base in order to attack in the latter overs, and did so with great success as S. Jepson (38) and M. Phillips (33) scored freely to ensure that a strong total was achieved. Dominik Modd (2-31) and A. Hirst (1-32) also bowled well for Barkston.
The home side lost three early wickets as A. Barnes (3-26) and S. Jepson (1-22) continued their good form. Barkston recovered well with M. Walton (42) and L. Parker (19) kick-starting the innings.
A belligerent knock from A. Johnson (42) seemingly ensured that Barkston were heading for victory. However, late wickets saw them needing 10 from the last over and they fell agonisingly short as Barrowby continued their winning streak.
South Notts League
Belvoir’s middle innings was stifled by 23 overs of accurate seam bowling, backed up by excellent play in the field.
At 108-5 from 38 overs, a further one hundred were needed in eight overs. Ross Denton (36 from 33 balls) and Matt Harland (13 from nine) put up a defiant and vigorous resistance until Harland was bowled.
Matt Irvine and Fraser Fentem battered Belvoir on to a fourth batting point but the asking rate was far too high. Danny Gibson earned the two points for the losing draw by blocking the last few deliveries.
Earlier, Collingham had set a reasonable target through a mixture of solid defence and measured aggression.
The pick of the Belvoir bowling was an 11-over spell of seam from the steadfast Irvine.
Burrough & District League
Batting first, Belvoir posted a tricky but gettable total in what turned out to be a very close fought game.
Penford (28) and Lewis (48) got Belvoir off to a racey start. With a below par score looking likely, Dann (38) upped the pace to strike much needed runs in the final overs to give Belvoir much needed impetus for thesecond half.
Uppingham started well before the Belvoir bowlers began to drag the game back in their favour. Harland running Collins out with a direct hit with only one stump to aimat proved to be a key moment.
The game ebbed and flowedand Uppingham began to settle in and took the attack to Belvoir. Ashwin looked to be leading the home side to victory only to be outdone by a smart piece of keeping by Lewis.
Ashby Carington 80-5
Some very tidy bowling by the Ashby side resticted Belvoir to 114 off their 20 overs, taking regular wickets to ensure Belvoir could never get on top.
Hubbard (31) was the only batsmen to dig in, realising early in his innings that 120 might be enough on a difficult batting wicket. Denton (20) and Butterworth (7) proved to score invaluable runs in the final five overs, giving Belvoir a glimmer of hope and forward momentum going into the next phase of the game.
Troop (2-26) and Buckby (3-14) particularly impressed for Ashby.
After the early wicket of Smith, Taylor (27) and Troop (11) put a dampener on things and began to dig in against some hostile bowling from the Belvoir strike.
With the game in the balance, up stepped Fentem to pile on the pressure, bowling his four overs for eight runs in a critical part of the game, backed up by his fielders who clearly wanted the victory.
Bottomley’s figures were 2-15, again impressive.
Ashby finished on 80-5 off their 20, although the winning margin does not give enough credit to how close the contest was.