Spa men sitting five points off top spot

Ross Dixon.
Ross Dixon.

Woodhall Spa CC’s First XI sit just five points off the top of the table following Saturday’s emphatic victory over Grimsby Town in the Lincs ECB Premier League.

After being invited to bat by the visiting captain, the Spa batting line-up took advantage of another good playing surface to post an imposing 275-8 from their 50 overs.

In truth, any of the top seven could have made high individual scores,but in the end it was only the returning Jack Hughes (55), batting at six, who passed the half-century mark during an enterprising partnership of 94 with Henry Wilson (42 form 48 balls).

The pair combined good running with a variety of attacking shots and Hughes,in particular,was inventive during his 41 ball innings.

Earlier Jack Timby (35), Prasanna Jayawardene (44), Jack Luffman (45) and Joe Irving (21) all looked in good form and played a plethora of pleasing shots in their own individual showers.

All were left kicking themselves on their dismissals.

Despite an initial attack from opener Farmery, Grimsby never looked like chasing down the total and would eventually finish 208-9 to leave Spa with 19 points from the encounter.

All of the bowling attack bowled well and with intent and innovation in trying to prise out the final wickets.

Ross Dixon (4-57) and Joe Irving (3-39) were probably the pick of the bowling line-up and they were well backed up in the field with good catches taken by Luffman, Tom Caswell, Pradeep Chanditha and Dixon who, himself, took two – one of which was an absolute blinder at backward point.

Jayawardene picked up two wickets as his variety of deliveries were too tempting for the batsmen not to attack, but despite everyone’s effort the elusive 10th wicket never came.

Away at Freiston, Leake and Leverton, the Second XI, who went into the fixture top of the South Lincs and Border Premier League, lost out by just one wicket in a tight and competitive affair.

After losing the toss, Spa found themselves batting on a difficult surface and were soon in some trouble at 29-4 and then 56-5 with only captain Matthew Sargeant (20) reaching double figures.

However, Tom Dixon, batting at five, stood firm and played a superb innings of 76 to ensure his side had a competitive total to defend.

He was well supported by Adam Barker (eight) in a 49-run partnership, and then James White (12) pushed the final total to 148.

In reply, Freiston also found themselves three wickets down for just 39 runs thanks to good opening spells with the ball form James White (3-32) and Alfie Lindsey (1-21). A recovery then ensued but when Sargeant (1-15) and Sam Cherry (1-34) removed the dangerous duo of Moeed and Saeed and other wickets began to fall, the Spa sensed victory at 124-8.

However, stubborn resistance form the home side’s tail end and a couple of missed opportunities saw the home side sneak home nine wickets down.

On Sunday, Adam Barker’s Wanderers Second XI claimed the maximum 20 points away at Ancaster in a thrilling Lincoln League Division One fixture.

Batting first on an indifferent surface, Spa managed to compile a very useful total of 175-7 form their 40 overs.

This mainly focused around two big partnerships between Henry Wilson (68) and Jack Luffman (36) and then between Wilson and Jack Hughes (23).

Batting was difficult so opener Wilson’s 100-ball innings was vital in setting the ground work for his more senior partners to play a more attacking role.

In reply, the home side found run scoring equally as difficult, particularly against the spin bowling of under 15 captain Sam Cooke (2-31) and Wilson (1-25), who bowled 20 tidy overs between them.

On their enforced removal from the attack, the home batting line-up threw caution to the wind and took it to the wire with 11 needed form the final over - to be bowled by Alex King.

He bowled a fine over and, after two dot balls to begin with and then a fortunate four for the home batsman, it was still all to play for.

Needing four off the final delivery, King held his nerve to give Spa one-run victory.

Woodhall Spa CC’s postponed Winkworth Cup T20 final against Bourne will take place at Sleaford CC on Thursday, June 22, starting at 6.15pm.