CRICKET: Richard takes Wroot to sink brave Horncastle

Straight bat: Horncastle skipper Nick Paige
Straight bat: Horncastle skipper Nick Paige

Horncastle Cricket Club produced a battling performance at Lincolnshire County League First Division rivals Outlaws last Saturday but suffered a four wicket victory.

After setting a challenging total of 168, Horncastle looked to be on course for victory when Outlaws crashed to 98-5 against impressive bowling from Harry Smith and Gareth Jones.

But sixth wicket pair Russell Fletcher and Richard Wroot produced what proved to be a matchwinning partnership.

They levelled the scores before Joel Hughes dismissed Wroot for 43 but it was too late to rescue the game for Horncastle.

The result was particularly hard on Smith who produced an impressive all-round performance.

Apart from his two wickets, he top scored in Horncastle’s innings.

Openers Nick Hill and Richard Dixon were back in the tent with just 26 on the board but Jones and Smith turned things round.

Jones fell for 19 but Smith stayed on and linked up with skipper Nick Paige to take the scoreboard beyond 100.

Smith progressed to 53 before being dismissed by a combination of Peter Tait and Darren Clark.

Paige made 47 before he went with the scoreboard on 152-7 and the innings then petered out with none of the lower order making much of an impression.

Horncastle aimed for quick wickets but Outlaws openers Darren Clark (29) and Andrew Lawson (34) kept the bowlers at bay.

The first wicket went down on 62 when Jones dismissed Lawson and Smith ensured Clark followed soon after.

Three more batsmen departed as Smith and Jones piled on the pressure but even they could not part Fletcher and Wroot.

Smith finished with 2-64 from 15 overs and Jones 3-53 from 15.