Firsts Claim Convincing Win

Woodhall Spa 1stXI recorded a convincing eight wicket victory over Louth in the Lincs ECB Premier League on Saturday.

Captain Jack Luffman and Joe Irving returned to the starting 11 and the former lost the toss as the visiting skipper decided to take first use of what was another belting batting track at Jubilee Park. However, Spa opening bowlers Irving and Alex King produced fine and tight opening spells with the former taking the first wicket to fall. From that point a careful but promising partnership developed between captain Scott and Louth’s overseas professional Pitchers as Louth were on the cusp of 100 before the second wicket fell. This went to Jack Cooke (1-31) as Scott found the safe hands of Luffman. The innings was entering a crucial last 15 overs but it was the Spa men who stemmed any real push for a huge total. This was mainly thanks to the leg-spin of Ross Dixon who took 4-53 from 10 overs while the returning Irving (2-28) also bowled four tight overs at the death. Louth eventually finished on a gettable 216-8.

Teenage openers Ollie Caswell and Henry Wilson got the reply off to a very promising start with both showing good defensive technique but also a willingness to pounce on anything loose. The score had reached 35 before the former was adjudged LBW for a well-constructed 18. This brought Sri Lankan Harsha Vithana to the crease and what ensued was a 170 run stand for the second wicket that took the home side to within eight runs of victory.

Vithana showed all of his class and experience as he guided his young partner Wilson through the partnership as the Louth captain chopped and changed his bowlers looking for the break through. Wilson passed his third half century at this level and built in confidence as he then showed what was a swelling a crowd a range of shots that his team mates see time and time again in training. He would eventually finish for a career best and fine unbeaten 82. Vithana meanwhile gradually went through the gears and unleashed a flurry of super sweeps and drives and looked certain to reach a much deserved century before, looking to scoop the ball into the gap, lost his wicket for a run a ball 98. It was left to Prasanna Jayawardena to play a glorious cover drive to take the Spa to a 17 point victory.

Next week Luffman’s men travel to reigning champions and current league leaders Bracebridge Heath. 12noon start.

Away at Bourne, the 2ndXI lost by 41 runs but did pick up eight valuable points as they came up short chasing 207 for victory. Bowling first Matt Sargeant’s men picked up regular wickets following a strong first wicket partnership from the home side. All of the five bowlers used took wickets but Sam Cherry’s 3-26 and Matthew Haslam’s 3-55 wee the stand out performances but all were well supported in the field with good catches being taken by wicket-keeper Alex Hodson, Chris Lee and Haslam himself.

In reply. Spa lost skipper Sargeant for just 18 but a gritty second wicket partnership between Cherry (33) and Hodson (31) followed before a mid-innings collapse saw the side slip to 75-6. Haslam (32 not out), along with Sam Cooke (10) and Chris Lee (11), ensured more batting points were gained as Spa were eventually bowled out for 165.

The 2ndXI entertain Stamford on Saturday in front of the Beer Festival crowds. 1.30pm start.

On Sunday, a very youthful and inexperienced side travelled to Boston in the Lincoln and District Premier League. Indeed, other than captain for the day Jack Luffman and Tom Cushen, every other player was under the age of 18 but despite a six wicket defeat the youngsters did a fine job against a strong home side.

Batting first, Spa amassed 183 -4 from its 40 overs. Brandan Laurenzi made a fluent 23 opening the batting, while Henry Wilson made 38 and skipper Luffman 46 but it was Nitin Joachim (52) who starred with the bat scoring his first half-century of the season. It was a fluent and typically aggressive innings and one that included five boundaries.

In reply, Spa struck twice early thanks to seam bowler Dewi Bourke (2-51) but an unbeaten 82 from Sri Lankan professional Jayarathana led the way to victory with eight overs to spare. The young side kept at it in the field with seam bowlers Bourke and Tom Ashford showing promise in two spells. Luffman finished with 2-30 from 10 overs.

Henry Wilson hit a career best 82 not out in the 1stXI's victory on Saturday.

May 21, 2018 12:00 am