CRICKET: Four wins out of four for Woodhall Spa teams

Cricket
Cricket

It was a happy camp on Sunday evening as Woodhall Spa completed four victories for the senior sides over the weekend.

Spa began with the first XI completing a comprehensive nine-point winning draw at Market Rasen on Saturday.

Batting first, Spa amassed an impressive 267-7 on what was a very slow wicket. Again, openers Jack Luffman (26) and Sam Evison (53) laid the foundations with an opening partnerhsip of 79, before Luffman became the first of five wickets for home skipper Rutherford – the ECB Premier League’s leading wicket taker.

This brought Malinga Bandara to the crease and he looked in fine form throughout his innings of 75 and was able to form telling partnerships with Evison, Ricky Lovelace (17), Matthew Wooldridge (17), and one of 69 with Etienne Botha (54no).

Indeed, on Bandara’s dismissal the young South African stood up to the plate and completed his first ECB half century from just 38 balls off the final delivery of the innings with a six over long off and into the nearby river.

It was always going to be a daunting task for the home side and it was clear from the outset that a draw was on their minds. Joe Irving and Luke Smith both picked up an early wicket and the introduction of Bandara, Ross Dixon and Botha stemmed the run flow and, at 66-5 at the innings mid-point, Spa were well on top.

However, a dogged partnership then followed before Dixon (4-31) dismissed Rutherford and then Bandara (3-26) took the ninth wicket, but the Rasen tail stood firm for the final three overs, meaning Spa had to settle for 18 points.

At home, Woodhall second XI continued their winning streak with a four-wicket win over Belton Park.

The visitors batted first and were dismissed for 177 by the Spa bowling attack. Wickets were shared around with Alex King (3) and Pete Jackson (2) the pick. The bowlers were backed up well in the field, with the home side showing both energy and skill when the ball was both on the ground and in the air.

In reply, the home side completed the 20-point win thanks mainly to a swashbuckling 80 from skipper Paul Timby and a typically agressive 57 from Chris Anderson.

The Wanderers first XI entertained Boston at Jubilee Park on Sunday and ran out comfortable winners, with an eight-wicket victory inside 26 overs after bowling their visitors out for just 134.

The bowling attack of Jack Cooke, Etienne Botha, Henry Wilson, Kieran Richardson, Alex King, Paul Timby and Ross Dixon showed control and skill on what was still a good pitch for batting. Cooke, with three wickets in his opening spell, and four wickets from Dixon’s leg-spin towards the end of the innings, were the main destroyers.

Depite the loss of two early wickets and the unfortunate dismissal of Wilson, run out backing-up, the home side passed the winning target at a canter, thanks mainly to an impressive innings of 53no from Jack Timby who played an array of fine shots off front and back foot. He shared a match-winning partnership with Botha (43) who continued his fine batting form from the previous day.

Away at Nocton, Pete Epton’s Wanderers 2nd recorded a well-earned six-wicket win.

After bowling the home side out for 101, Spa chased the tricky total down for the loss of just four wickets.

With the ball, Tom Caswell took three wickets but was outdone by under-13 player Dewi Bourke who claimed four. Runs were hard to come by but 19 from Adam Barker and unbeaten 20s from Epton and Sam Cherry meant maximum points were claimed to round off an excellent weekend of cricket.