CRCIKET: Key man Sargeant is sidelined as Woodhall Spa look for title boost

Matthew Sargeant
Matthew Sargeant

Woodhall Spa will have to manage without star all rounder Matthew Sargeant as they look to step up their challenge for the Lincolnshire ECB Premier League title at Spalding tomorrow (Saturday).

The Lincolnshire ace - such a key figure in Woodhall’s side - will miss the next couple of weeks after getting married yesterday.

Sargeant’s ability to score runs at a rapid rate will be missed but it is his bowling skills that will stretch Woodhall’s resources.

With Connor Parsons still struggling with a hamstring problem, Sargeant has opened the attack in recent games to help Woodhall to impressive results against fellow title hopefuls Sleaford and Bracebridge Heath.

Woodhall were checking on the availability of Andrew Carter but the highly rated seamer is likely to be on duty with Nottinghamshire this weekend.

That could leave Ben O’Brien and Luke Smith to shoulder the seam bowling responsibilities tomorrow.

Skipper Jack Luffman is confident his side will handle Sargeant’s absence as they look to close the gap on early season pacesetters Bourne.

Woodhall go into the game in second place, just four points behind Bourne and one ahead of defending champions Sleaford.

Luffman said: “Matty is obviously an important player for us but we’ve got strength in depth and it’s a chance for someone else to step up.”

Luffman is predicting a tough test against Spalding after admitting they are a difficult side to beat, particularly on their own ground.

He added: “They’re a good side with some dangerous players and we’ll need to be at our best again.”

All eyes will be on Sri Lankan Test ace Malinga Bandara who has made in impressive start to his Woodhall career. The leg-spinner has picked up several wickets and will be looking to shine with the bat.

Meanwhile, Luffman has confirmed tomorrow’s clash could be opener Sam Evison’s last appearance for several weeks as he is heading off to Africa to start voluntary work as part of a Masters Degree.

*Woodhall and Spalding are also due to meet on Monday in the final stages of a T20 competition for the Winkworth Trophy.

The two sides will clash in a semi final and the winners will meet either Bourne or Bracebridge Heath in the final.