Louth 1st XI hosted reigning ECB League champions Sleaford at London Road hoping to complete a league double, having won the corresponding fixture earlier this season.
That victory was one of the high points of the season and a youthful Louth Team looked capable of repeating that success as they turned in one of their best bowling performances of the season.
Bowling first Louth skipper Andy Carrington made the breakthrough with the returning Jake Sanders taking a sharp catch at gully. Shortly after Amila Weththasinghe bowled the number three batsman and set his sights on the big wicket of ex-New Zealand Test Player Tim McIntosh.
Having survived a few close calls and lucky escapes Louth may have felt that the Kiwi would go on to record another big score, but Amila, bowling with a great deal of pace and movement, trapped the batsman LBW.
By this stage Tom Corden had replaced Carrington and was soon among the wickets, bowling the number 5 batsman, then having the dangerous Hibberd caught by Amila at slip and taking his third victim courtesy of a catch by Arran Brindle at cover.
Following a long opening spell from Amila, Nic Keast was introduced from the Pavilion End. His first couple of overs pasted without any alarms for the batsman but soon the wickets were tumbling as Sleaford skipper Burford was caught by Corden at cover and the next batsman quickly followed, caught by Carrington at mid-off.
Keast wrapped up the innings with two further wickets, one courtesy of a good catch by Richard Limmer to finish with 4 wickets for just 15 runs and the opposition all out for 148 runs.
That target should have been well within reach of the home side, but in response Louth’s innings never got going. A mixture of hostile and probing bowling from Sleaford openers Morris and Goacher saw the top order blown away and runs hard to come by.
Wickets continued to fall to change bowlers Smith and Collings, who extracted further movement from the wicket and left Louth reeling at 52-9.
That could have been worse had Sleaford taken any of the 4 chances given by Brindle, but batting with her usual determination she and Jake Sanders, belying his number 11 status, moved the score along with some controlled attacking stroke-play.
The away side may have been slightly concerned that they hadn’t taken their chances when the pair put on 50 runs and took the score to 107. Unfortunately Sander’s luck ran out when a defensive shot ran back onto his stumps to bowl him for 21 well-made runs, leaving Brindle unbeaten on 36 and the visitors winners by 41 runs.
Louth will reflect on an opportunity missed to record a win which could have been achieved had any one of the batsmen managed to form a partnership with Brindle. It would be fair to say that lady luck was not with the Louth side with some unfortunate/unusual dismissals. Man of the match went to Arran Brindle for her battling innings and unbeaten 36 runs.
This Saturday Louth travel to Spalding, who lie just above them in the table. Thanks to club sponsors Kenwick Park and match ball sponsor Classic Freight Limited.