Horncastle Cricketers were unable to make a winning start to their 2015 league campaign on Saturday, when they suffered a six wicket defeat to Alford 2nds.
The Coronation Walk Ground looked a picture as the teams took to field. Club Skipper Nic Hill had been forced to shuffle his pack with several of his regular players unavailable due to other sporting and social commitments.
Alford won the toss and put the home team into bat. Unfortunately the top order batsmen were unable build a decent score and Horncastle found themselves four wickets down with only 20 runs on the board.
The ship was steadied when Rich Hickling and Jonny Clarke came to the wicket. But when Hickling was caught for 30 runs the remaining wickets soon tumbled and Horncastle were bowled out for 81.
Two early wickets for Horncastle bowlers Smith and Hughes gave the home side hope of getting something from the game. But opener Keeler and the experienced Calvert set about the task and soon started knocking off the runs. Horncastle took a further two wicket, both to Harry Smith, but Alford comfortably reached the winning total in the 21st over.
Horncastle captain Nic Hill said: “We are all disappointed to lose our opening game. Our top order batsmen simply didn’t score enough runs, but full credit to everyone who showed great commitment in the field trying to defend such a small total.”
Horncastle man of the match was wicketkeeper Jonny Clark, who took two catches behind the stumps and showed spirited resilience with the bat.
Horncastle are at home again next week to Outcasts, when skipper Hill will have some of his experienced players to select from and will be looking for the first win of the season.