Woodhall are keeping the pressure on the leaders

There's a big day of cricket in store at Hove
There's a big day of cricket in store at Hove

Woodhall Spa CC’s First XI returned to winning ways on Saturday with an 83-run victory over newly-promoted Alford in the Lincs ECB Premier League.

It was a fixture that pitted join-third against one another and it was an encounter that ebbed and flowed with Spa applying the killer blow when they took seven wickets for just 30 runs to bowl the home side out for 143.

Until that point it could be argued that Alford looked set to pass the 226 set by Spa earlier in the afternoon after a solid start to the run chase.

However, when returning skipper Jack Luffman introduced Jack Cooke (3-25) into the attack things began to change.

His fine five-over spell saw him claim the first three wickets to fall.

Jack Wightwick counter attacked with a flamboyant innings of 33 but he was always going to give a chance.

And when he edged behind from former Alford player Joe Irving, the Spa smelt blood and showed an experienced, killer instinct in tracking down and finishing off their prey.

Six further wickets fell, two more to Irving (3-35), and four to Ross Dixon (4-30), another familiar face to the home side, to claim the 20 points.

Wicketkeeper Jack Timby achieved the feat of claiming five victims behind the stumps for the first time this season.

Earlier, the Spa batting line-up once again flattered to deceive somewhat with many batsmen getting good starts only to throw their wickets away.

Pradeep Chanditha (60), passed his third 50 of the campaign, and got the visitors off to a flying start before unluckily being adjudged LBW.

Only Irving (40) of the middle order really made the visitors pay and it was left to some tail end resistance again to take Spa to a total that was extremely competitive on a slow, low wicket.

Indeed, a final-wicket partnership of 36 between Alex King (21 not out) and Cooke (15) ensured maximum points were gained.

The First XI entertain high-scoring Bourne on Saturday in what promises to be the Spa’s biggest test to date.

At home the Second XI entertained their Boston counterparts in the South Lincs and Border Premier League, and ran out comfortable victors in a game that lasted just 44 overs in total.

The visitors won the toss and elected to bat on another good Jubilee Park pitch, but would’ve been surprised at the way the home side blew them away.

Only two visiting batsmen reached double figures as they came across a Spa attack that was desperate to gain its second victory of the season.

All five bowlers used by captain Matthew Sargeant bowled well but James White (3-9) and Matthew Haslam (4-21) were the pick as they conceded just 40 runs from their combined 21 overs.

Sam Cherry picked up one wicket and the evergreen Pete Jackson rounded things off bowling the final two batsmen in his two overs without conceding a run to bowl Boston out for 91.

In reply, opening pair Cherry and Sargeant made light work of the run chase passing the wining line inside 14 overs to claim a 10-wicket victory.

Cherry finished on an unbeaten 29 with his captain completing his second half-century of the season to finish 52 not out.

The Seconds travel to Bourne to take on their counterparts on Saturday.

Sunday’s Lincoln Premier League encounter at Middle Rasen was cancelled.