Horncastle Cricket Club’s batting problems haunted them again as they crashed to a nine run defeat against Lincolnshire County League First Division rivals Scunthorpe Town seconds at Coronation Walk on Saturday.
Brody Willerton marked his return to action with some fine bowling as Scunthorpe were dismissed for 115.
Horncastle’s hopes of what would have been only their second league win of the campaign must have been high at the midway point.
However, they lost wickets at regular intervals and they were eventually bowled out for 106 with Willerton being the last man out.
Batting at number nine, the fact his score of 18 was the highest summed up Horncastle’s reply.
Four other players reached double figures but no-one could go on to make the sizeable contribution that would have proved to be a matchwinner.
Scunthorpe also struggled for runs with Willerton, Gareth Jones and Andrew Bullivant all bowling well.
Horncastle would have been in an even stronger position but were frustrated by Scunthorpe’s Rory Franklin who put together a vital knock of 52.
Apart from that, Willerton sliced through the batting order, finishing with 5-22 off 15 overs - five of which were maidens.
Jones captured 2-54 and Bullivant chipped in with 2-9 - including the scalp of Franklin who was the final wicket to fall.
Horncastle suffered an early blow when experienced skipper Nick Paige was caught behind off the bowling of Declan Toyne for eight.
Nick Hill, Mark Kelsey and Ben Fidling were also back in the tent before the score had reached 40 and although Jones (15) and Jamie Lewis (16) tried to pull things around, Scunthorpe’s bowlers stayed in control.
Richard Dixon and Jim Watters fell cheaply and Willerton battled bravely but narrowly failed to see Horncastle over the line.