CRICKET: Woodhall Spa claim winning draw in below par performance

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Woodhall Spa first XI held on to a losing draw and claimed eight points in a below par performance away at Louth in the Lincolnshire ECB Premier League on Saturday.

Jack Luffman’s men were a shadow of the side that had performed so well in the previous two weeks with the ball and in the field as the home side piled on 256-9 from their 50 overs.

It had all started well for the Spa when Alfie Lindsey removed the home side’s Australian professional Critchell for a duck via a good catch at second slip from Joe Irving, however from that point on the bat certainly dominated the ball on what was a fast scoring outfield at London Road.

Despite not being at their best, the Spa players did stick to their task manfully with skipper Luffman leading the way with an outstanding slip catch from Irving’s (2-48) bowling. Club coach Paul Timby was the pick of the bowlers with 4-65, bowling his off-spin during the death overs.

While a big score, the strong Spa batting line-up felt it was achievable if one could ‘get in’ but unfortunately it wasn’t to be as they slipped to 97-7 from 26 overs. At that juncture, the decision to go for a losing draw and bat out the remaining 24 overs and gain as many points as possible was made.

Ross Dixon scored an enterprising 31 and then a 55 run partnership between Paul Timby and Jean-Pierre Prinsloo ensued for the ninth wicket, giving Spa hope of achieving the 200 run mark.

While Timby targeted any lopse ball to keep the run scoring flowing during his innings of 42, Prinsloo was obdurate in defence and faced 80 balls on his way to 11 not out and alongside Lindsey, the final pair safely negotiated the last six overs to see their side to 182-9.

At Jubilee Park, the second XI secured a convincing eight wicket victory over Long Sutton to propel them up the South Lincs and Border League Premier Division table.

After losing the toss on another fine pitch, Pete Jackson would’ve been delighted with his side’s effort to bowl the visitors out for just 145. Strike bowler Sam Cherry took the first wicket to fall and Rob Bee the final one, but it was the combination of Matthew Sargeant (5-45) and Jackson himself (3-34) that ripped the heart out of the Sutton batting order.

Despite losing openers Cherry (6) and George Lindsey (4) early, the Spa calmly passed the winning line to claim maximum points thanks to an unbeaten 100 plus partnership between Nathan Carter (56 not out) and Bee (59 not out). It was a second fifty at this level for young Carter and a pleasing return to form for Bee.

On Sunday, Chris Anderson’s Wanderers first XI moved to the top of the Lincoln and District Premier League after an exciting four win victory over Lindum.

Batting first, Spa posted 195-9 from their 40 overs. Against some tight bowling and on a tired pitch, run scoring wasn’t free flowing so it was a very competitive total. The innings was based around 35 from Jack Timby and a pair of 48s from Prasanna Jayawardene and Matthew Law, the latter playing his most impressive innings for the club to date.

In reply, Lindum got off to good start but when Jayawardene (2-34) bowled opener Thomas and then Law accounted for Lindum’s number three, it was certainly game on. Anderson rotated his bowlers well and when Alfie Lindsey (1-25) picked up the prize wicket of Wright for 60 with his very first ball, the Spa men sensed victory.

The reintroduction of Prinsloo (2-29) accounted for two more wickets and a very tight over, meaning 22 was needed from the final over. Paul Timby, who had bowled his two spells well, was the man responsible for bowling it but Lindum man Lindsey was not going down without a fight and hit the first two balls for four before the third went for a two.

However, then experienced Timby (1-51) held his nerve and the spoils went to the Spa, much to the delight of the fairly healthy boundary crowd.