CRICKET: Woodhall Spa forced to settle for losing draw

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Woodhall Spa’s first XI returned with nine points from a losing draw at second placed Market Deeping in the Lincs ECB Premier League on Saturday, which leaves the side sixth in the table, just eight points from top spot.

It was a low key affair in the main and Spa were not quite at their best but would have been happy to restrict the home side to 193-9 from their 50 overs after home captain Dave Gillet elected to bat first after winning the toss.

It could have been even better for Spa as they had reduced the home side to 88-6 at one stage but a solid partnership of 59 between the aforementioned Gillet and Australian Zac Simmonds steadied the Deeping ship somewhat. Some late order hitting then ensured that the home side posted a competitive total.

For Spa, pick of the bowlers were Matt Sargeant (2-16) and quick bowler Connor Parsons who claimed three wickets in each of his two spells to claim final figures for 6-81 off his 15 overs, and with it his first ever five wicket haul at Premier League level. The bowlers were all backed up well by some excellent fielding which was led by wicket-keeper Jack Timby who once again showed his ability with three catches, two of which were magnificent diving efforts down the leg side.

Spa were confident they could overhaul the target and at 50-1, with Timby and Prasanna Jayawardene at the crease, they were well placed. However, under some pressure form the home side’s tight bowling the visitors slipped to 69-4. Jayawardene was still at the crease and playing an excellent anchor role but with both the pitch and outfield getting slower by the over, run-scoring became increasingly difficult.

Cameos from Sargeant (20) and Ross Dixon (19) were short lived and in the end Spa had to settle for a three point losing draw, and it was left to Parsons (7no) and 15-year-old Henry Wilson (16no) to see out the remaining overs.

At home, the second XI were again unlucky not to claim the victory when they fell just 12 runs short of chasing down Market Deeping’s 205-7.

The run chase was built around a fine 96 from opener Tom Dixon who played an array of fine shots in an innings that deserved a first century of the season. He shared in a good opening partnership of 50 with Tom Caswell and all the remaining batsmen chipped in with double figure scores, but on Dixon’s dismissal hope of an unlikely and fine victory slipped away.

Earlier in the afternoon the bowling and fielding had been impressive on a good batting surface and quick outfield. Strike bowler Sam Cherry (2-57) bowled tidily up front and was unlucky to get some punishment towards the end of the innings on his return to the attack. Stand-in skipper and the evergreen Matt Haslam was again in good form with the ball, claiming 4-44 from his 12 overs.

On Sunday, Chris Anderson’s Wanderers first XI travelled to Middle Rasen in the Lincoln League Premier Division and returned with a crushing nine wicket victory, bowling the home side out for 96.

Youngsters Alfie Lindsey and Henry Wilson bowled nicely, taking two wickets each, but it was debutant Tom Siswick who was the pick of the attack, taking 4-30 off his nine overs. Good catches were taken by James Hillsmith (2), James Harris and Siswick.

In reply, Spa passed the winning line in the 19th over for the loss of just one wicket. Jack Timby finished on 45no and Anderson 24no.

At Jubilee Park, the Wanderers 2nd hosted Sleaford Sunday 2nd in the league cup and were narrowly defeated in what was a super performance from a very young side.

Skipper Pete Epton’s young team restricted the visitors to just 137. Under-13 players Dewi Bourke and Sam Cooke bowled 10 overs in the middle of the innings for just 26 runs. The former finished with fine figures of 3-16, while John Temperton, Kieran Richardson and Jackson Draper each claimed two apiece.

The run chase got off to a steady start and the foundations were being built nicely, particularly from George Lindsey who played well for his 38.

However, upon his dismissal the innings somewhat fell away with the inexperienced batting line-up and closed on 94-9. Ollie Caswell played another promising innings of 10 and Draper finished 10no.