Tetford Cricket Club hosted Alford in their latest fixture in the Cojo’s East Lindsey League.
The serene rural backdrop of the village recreation ground, in the shadow of the 14th century St. Mary’s Church, was the setting for a tense and low scoring thriller with Tetford coming out on top.
They left it late, though, with Paul Wood hitting the winning runs on the very last ball of the game.
Alford won the toss and elected to bat. Under overcast skies Tetford’s quartet of seam bowlers set about their task with intensity and skill, first Luke Smith and then Tom Baxter each dispatching two visiting batsmen back to the hutch in quick time.
With bowling changes came no relief for Alford as Harry Smith, thundering in from the church end, plundered three wickets in a hostile spell of eight overs, which resulted in three wickets for 16 runs.
Matt Roberts kept up the pressure from the other end with a heady mix of swing, seam and beguiling variation, accounting for two more of the visitors.
In 27 overs, last season’s league winners had subsided to a mere 86 all out.
Suitably refreshed by a first class tea at the White Hart, the home team felt confident about meeting that target in their allotted 40 overs.
Alford had other ideas however and wickets fell with regularity in Tetford’s reply with Joe Irving posing questions with pace and Rav Bains with nagging accuracy that only Harry Smith had answers for.
A succession of Tetford batsmen returned with single figure scores, but Smith anchored the innings with watchful application.
When he fell for 42 to a sharp caught and bowled, Tetford were seven down and still a dozen short.
Nerves were jangling and as the fielders closed in, first Ollie Roberts and then Jake Shelbourne mounted dogged resistance, eking out runs where they could.
The final overs had everything, two shouts for lbw and a dropped catch, but when Paul Wood struck the last ball of the game for a scampered two, Tetford had their victory with a total of 87-8.