It was another superb advert for local cricket on Saturday as Woodhall Spa’s First XI completed an exciting 20-point home victory against Market Deeping in the Lincs ECB Premier League.
It was a game that the visitors will be disappointed not to have won as, at 208-2, chasing 260 to win and with plenty of overs left, it looked like they were well placed to pull off a shock victory.
However, Spa had other ideas as the reintroduction of seamers Alex King and Joe Irving as captain Ross Dixon’s final throw of the dice, reaped its rewards.
The pair put the disappointment of their opening spells behind them and produced 16 overs of high-quality bowling.
Firstly, King (4-49) removed Deeping captain Sargeant with a rip snorter of a delivery for a fine 91.
This gave Spa a little sniff, the fielders rallied round and the next seven wickets were taken for just 36 runs to claim a 15-run victory, much to the delight of the swelling crowd of members and campsite visitors.
Both King and Irving (4-70) were each on a hat-trick at one stage and when the latter bowled number 11 Anderson in the 48th over Spa had completed a remarkable turnaround.
Earlier in the afternoon the side had also rediscovered its batting form posting 259-6 from its 50 overs.
The innings was largely based around a 149-run partnership between Prassana Jayawardene and Jack Timby.
Both batsman found the Jubilee Park track to their liking and played an array of fine shots.
Timby was the first to go for a well-crafted and mature 64.
Jayawardene had already passed his half-century earlier in the innings and went on to post his first century of the summer.
His innings was one of pure class, timing and caressing the ball to all parts of the ground.
His innings finally ended on 110 form just 116 balls and included 13 boundaries.
The final throws of the innings belonged to Irving who, having been moved up the order to number four, again showed his ability with a 38 ball 51.
His innings included seven boundaries and one maximum.
Spa now sit in fourth place just 27 points from top spot and travel to Spalding on Saturday.
In the corresponding Second XI fixture, Spa returned home with a comfortable nine-wicket victory.
After winning the toss and electing to field, Spa skipper Matthew Sargeant would have been delighted to bowl the home side out for just 144.
Young opening bowlers Jack Cooke (1-21) and Alfie Lindsey (2-27) set the tone with some tight early bowling that then allowed the rest of the attack to focus in on Deeping’s middle order.
Debutants Will Sharpe (1-7) and Jonny Law (1-14) showed they will be good additions to the club, but it was once again the evergreen Matthew Haslam who led the way, taking 5-25 from his 11 overs off wily off-spin.
In truth, the Spa made light work of chasing down the total passing the winning line in just the 23rd over of the innings for the loss of just opener Sam Cherry (18).
Sargeant continued his fine form, finishing 63 not out from 59 balls, and wicketkeeper Tom Dixon blasted an unbeaten 37 from 36 balls, including hitting three sixes to win the game.
On Sunday both Wanderers sides were in action.
Chris Anderson’s First XI hosted nearby opponents Revesby in the Premier Division and completed a convincing seven-wicket victory.
The visitors batted first and Anderson would have been pleased to have bowled them out for 153 considering the fact for the majority of the innings the Spa had to field with nine men due to injury.
It was testament to the disciplines shown by his bowlers and the commitment by the fielders on another super batting track and rapid outfield.
Pick of the bowling attack was new member Will Sharpe, who claimed 4-26 from his nine overs while Ross Dixon (2-24) and Matthew Sargeant (3-28) were also amongst the wickets.
In reply, Spa’s innings got off to a flying start thanks to openers Dixon and Sargeant.
Both were in imperious form with the bat crashing any loose deliveries to the boundary fence.
Dixon smashed 49 from just 31 balls and Sargeant (68 not out) completed his second unbeaten half century of the weekend.
Anderson made a quickfire 14 and Nathan Carter hit two consecutive boundaries to win the game and finish 11 not out.
It was a tighter game away at Heighington for Adam Barker’s Second XI as they chased down the 201 runs needed to win with just four balls to go and one wicket in hand as the experienced John Temperton hit the winning two runs needed.
Earlier in the innings Tom Dixon (50) and Alex Hodson (35) put together an impressive opening stand and the rest of the batting line-up continued to chip away at the total.
Matthew Ashford (12) and Harvey Rinfret (18) played their part and a swashbuckling 47 from Alex King seemed to have seen Spa home but when he lost his wicket via a run out and Pete Epton (4) soon followed, 10 runs were still needed.
Chris Lee smashed two fours in his three balls before Temperton and Oliver Hausermann saw their side home.
Earlier in the afternoon the bowlers and fielders had stuck their tasks well.
King claimed 2-7 and Lee 1-31, but the chief destroyers were off-spinners Dixon (3-16) and under-13 player Hausermann (3-43), who continues to impress.
Wicketkeeper Hodson also had a fine afternoon claiming two catches and two stumpings.