CRICKET: Woodhall Spa retain Stephen Bradford Trophy

Woodhall Spa first XI
Woodhall Spa first XI
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Woodhall Spa first XI retained the Stephen Bradford Trophy with a six wicket victory over Bracebridge Heath at a sun-soaked Sleaford CC last week.

In front of good sized crowd, Bracebridge won the toss and elected to bat first and were soon in big trouble at 20-4. Spa strike bowlers Etienne Botha (3-18) and Alex King (1-18) had done the damage, with the former claiming a wicket off the very first ball of the match via a sharp catch from Chris Anderson in the covers.

Bracebridge did recover somewhat during a good fourth wicket partnership but the remaining bowlers of Malinga Bandara, Ross Dixon and Paul Timby kept a lid on any attempt to increase the run-rate. and after 18 overs Bracebridge finished on 114-8.

Spa’s reply got off to a bad start with skipper Jack Luffman, fellow opener Ricky Lovelace and number three Bandara all back in the pavilion with the score on just 15.

However, a match-winning partnership of in excess of 70 then ensued between Botha and Sam Evison. Finding the gaps for ones and twos, and mixing that with some boundaries, meant that when Botha lost his wicket for a well made 30, Spa needed 33 off the final five overs.

They needed just three of those as Evison completed a brilliant half-century and Anderson blasted a quickfire 16 to claim the trophy for a second consecutive year.

Botha was named man of the match for his wickets, runs and super boundary catch.

l Two further trophies made their way to the Spa trophy cabinet last week.

Both the under-11 and under-13 teams won their scheduled league fixtures to claim their respective league titles.

After beating Boston on Monday evening, the under-11 side needed to beat Sleaford and had Emma Leggate to thank as she made 12no, including hitting the winning boundary, to guide her side over the winning line and finish top of the league.

At Boston, the under-13 side made light work of reaching their winning target of 69. It took them just 10 overs to reach the milestone and, in turn, they too claimed top spot.

The club sent its congratulations to the players and coaches Nick Shirley and Simon Caswell.