First Reach The Top

The 1st XI climbed to the top of the Lincs ECB Premier League on Saturday with a four wicket victory over lowly Grantham.

Surrounded by the 1940s weekend, visiting captain Rohan Nurse won the toss and elected to bat on a flat Jubilee Park pitch and he would’ve been disappointed that his improving side were bowled out for just 163. He made 53 himslef and Lincolnshire Minor Counties player Dan Freeman looked in good touch for his 46 before being the first of six wickets for Spa’s Malinga Bandara. Indeed, the home bowling attack bowled with great discipline and skill and were in the main backed up with some high quality fielding.

Opening bowlers Luke Smith and Jo Irving started well for the home side and restricted the scoring rate in the early overs. It was Smith who got the breakthrough trapping Webb LBW before also taking the wickets of Mihill and the dangerous Bansal in an excellent 14 over spell. Once again the introduction of spin took its toll on the visitors’ line up and only Nurse (53) showed any confidence but when he fell to Etienne Botha it was left to Bandara to wheel away at teh other end and he finsihed with superb figures of  6-27 from 14 overs.

To Grantham’s credit they made Spa work for every run and Freeman in particular always looked dangerous with his lines and length. Despite losing skipper Jack Luffman (8) early fellow opener Sam Evison anchored the innings well and he looked set to carry his bat through the innings before falling to a clever piece of bowling from Freeman for a fine 71. This left the experienced Matt Sargeant to play an excellent finishing role and when he smashed Peck over his head for a huge six the victory was sealed and with news that Bracebridge Heath had lost at Lindum, Spa had managed to jump to the top of the league with a narrow four-point lead.

Away at Grantham, the 2ndXI continued its great run of form with a seven wicket victory after chasing down the home side’s 166. Skipper Paul Timby continued his fine run with the bat scoring a well made 68 and Rob Bee made a useful 36 in a big second wicket partnership. However, it was left to Chris Anderson (32 not out) and Tom Dixon (17 not out) to take the side to victory. Earlier in the afternoon Connor Parsons (4-50), Timby (3-36) and Matt Haslam (2-21) were the chief destroyers and they were again well backed up in the field with a handful of fine catches being take none more so than Nick Bishop’s shapr chance in the gully.

On Sunday, the Wanderers 1stXI lost by 17 runs at Middle Rasen. On a difficutl batting wicket Spa bowled out their hosts for 80, Alex King taking 5-15 but as the bounce got lower and lower batting became increaisngly difficult against an accurate home attack. Spa were bowled out for 63, Jack Luffman top scoring with 25.

Away at Sleaford, the Wanderers 2ndXI blended a mixture of the ‘very’ young and the ‘not so very’ young and put in a spirited display. The home side amassed 234-6. Simon Leggatte, playing his first game in more than a decade, claimed two wickets as did John Temperton. In reply, Spa were bowled out for 138 with Adam Barker top scoring with a quickfire 30.



Malinga Bandara took 6-27 on Saturday and scored 27 with the bat.

July 20, 2015 12:00 am