Lincolnshire ECB Premier League
Woodhall Spa 119
Woodhall Spa were bowled out in a low scoring affair at Richmond Drive, with Skegness retaining their place in next season’s ECB Premier League.
The seasiders bowled Spa out for 119 and then kept their faithful supporters on the edge of their seats as they lost eight wickets chasing down the meagre total. They eventually crossed the line with 18 overs to spare.
Skegness skipper Sean Chamberlain put the visitors into bat and they were soon in trouble with Jack Luffman playing on to his stumps for a duck after facing just three balls from Tom Cuthbert.
Fellow opener Sam Evison was next to go when he fell victim to some sharp fielding by Brendan Young. The batsman appeared to have beaten the field with a crisp drive towards the boundary and was half way down the wicket when Young snapped up the ball and threw into Pete Houghton behind the stumps. Evison was left stranded and the visitors were tottering on 9-2.
Malinga Bandara faced 21 balls for his five runs before being trapped lbw by a delivery from Young.
Then, in what appeared to be continuing difficult conditions for the batsmen, Matthew Sargeant holed out to Mark Chamberlain at mid-off after facing just seven balls.
Skegness were jubilant as it dawned on them that they could secure ECB safety without going to the last game of the season in desperate need of points.
Indeed, Woodhall Spa, who had led the league table for much of the season were looking rather nervous on 23-4 at this stage.
Etienne Botha and Matthew Wooldridge stemmed the flow of wickets, putting on 44 for the fifth wicket before Botha was bowled by Cuthbert.
Wooldridge continued to battle against the breezy conditions, but lost partners in his quest to take Woodhall to three figures. His 24 runs, from 82 balls, was equal second highest scorer with extras. He was eventually bowled by Pradeep Chanditha, who finished with four wickets for 25 runs.
The Spa innings fizzled out six runs short of a batting bonus point in the 45th over.
The target of 120 was certainly attainable, but Skegness had witnessed the visitors struggling on this pitch and it was going to take maximum resolve to bag the points need to secure ECB safety.
Indeed, after Pete Houghton and Sean Chamberlain had weathered the early storm both fell with the score on 26.
Another double loss for the seasiders occurred with the score in the 40s when Jamie Epton and Alistair Ainsworth were despatched.
The quickfire wickets of Chanditha and Daniel Nuttall left the seasiders staring defeat in the face on 51-6, but a cameo from Cuthbert got the seasiders back on track.
The home side suffered a setback with the loss of Umar Farooq for just one run, but Young joined Norman Brackley to ensure the target was reached in the 38th over.