First Retain Trophy

Last night, the 1stXI retained the Stephen Bradford Trophy with a six wicket victory over Bracebridge Heath at a sun-soaked Sleaford CC.

In front of good sized crowd, Bracebridge won the toss and elected to bat first and were soon in big trouble at 20-4. Spa's opening bowlers of Etienne Botha (3-18) and Alex King (1-18) had done the damage with the former claiming a wicket off the very first ball of the match via a sharp catch from Chris Anderson in the covers.

Bracebridge did recover somewhat during a good fourth wicket partnership but the remaining bowlers of Malinga Bandara, Ross Dixon and Paul Timby kept a lid on any attempt to increase the run-rate and after 18 overs Bracebridge finished on 114-8.

Spa's reply got off to a bad start with skipper Jack Luffman, fellow opener Ricky Lovelace and number three Bandara all back in the pavilion with the score on just 15. However, a match winning partnership of in excess of 70 then ensued between Botha and Sam Evison. Finding the gaps for ones and twos and mixing that with some boundaries meant that when Botha lost his wicket for a well made 30, Spa needed 33 off the final five overs. In fact they needed just three of those as Evison completed a brilliant half century and Anderson blasted a quick fire 16 to claim the trophy for a second consecutive year.

Etienne Botha was named Man of the Match for his wickets, runs and super boundary catch.