CRICKET: Louth 2nds miss opportunity to go top

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After heavy overnight rain, Louth travelled to league leaders Caistor knowing victory would take them top of the table with a game in hand.

Louth won the toss and chose to bowl in seamer friendly conditions. However opening bowlers Reggie Koen (8-2-27-0) and Phil Nicholson (7-1-29-0) bowled without luck as Caistor’s opening pair upped the run rate.

Spin was soon introduced at both ends as Jake Sanders (15-2-48-2) and Phil Burrell (15-1-37-1) bowled in tandem for 30 overs, restricting the run rate to 2.83 runs per over on a drying pitch.

A couple of chances were missed, but Louth were more than happy to restrict Caistor to 147 for 3 off their 45 overs, meaning Louth had to score at less than 3 ½ runs per over for victory.

With regular opening batsman away, Phil Burrell partnered Steve Wright and the pair made a solid start, reaching 38 off 10 overs before Wright was caught for 22.

Matt Elston soon followed for a duck and when Burrell was adjudged LBW for 20, Louth were 43 for 3.

Reggie Koen and Mark Duell began rebuilding and kept Louth up with the run rate. With the score on 73 Duell was caught in the slips for 11, and when Koen fell 4 overs later for 19 Louth were 88 for 5.

The innings collapsed dramatically as Jack Milligan-Manby (1), Phil Nicholson (7), Jake Sanders (0) and Ed Brindle (0) all departed quickly, veteran Adam Grist stood firm to finish 6 not out and 14-year-old Jack Leeming (1) batted very sensibly for 7 overs, but Louth were all out for 99, losing by 48 runs and gifting the opposition 20 points, Louth finishing with only 1 point.

Louth must now win their remaining games to ensure a top two finish and gain promotion to Division 1.

Thanks to match ball sponsors Lincs Motors Ltd.