Cricket: Louth Seconds fall to quarter-final defeat againat Hartsholme

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An expectant crowd gathered at London Road as Louth Second XI entertained Hartsholme Firsts in the quarter-finals of the George Marshall Trophy.

Winning the toss, home skipper Arran Brindle elected to field, and Louth struck early when Shooter played at a swinging Keon delivery which was caught by wicketkeeper Tye.

This brought the Hartsholme South African professional Craig Elliott to the crease and with opener Roberts they dug in, while Louth chased and harried every run.

With the score on 51-1 Roberts looked to have been run out by Fisher’s direct hit from 40 yards only for the umpire to give it not out.

Batting within themselves and without risk, Hartsholme reached drinks in the 23rd over at 77-2, and soon after a composed Elliott brought up his chanceless 50.

The home side finally found some luck when a stinging drive by Elliott was guided onto the stumps by the bowler to run out Roberts (91-2).

Elliott upped the tempo with new batsman Bosworth, pushing the score to 144 before Keon returned to have Bosworth stumped with a sharp take by Tye.

The South African reached his century in the 40th over having scored only four boundaries.

Louth’s final wicket came as Bell skied a spiralling catch to debutant Tim Jones off Fisher’s bowling. Elliot remained unbeaten on 127 as Hartsholme posted 233-4.

Louth openers Wright and Brindle rotated the strike superbly and punished any wayward bowling to bring up the 50 in the 17th over.

Wright was then uncharacteristically stumped for 18 with the score on 51, and at the drinks break the match looked evenly balanced with Louth on 79-1.

Tye tried to up the scoring rate after the interval, but pushed at a wide delivery to give a regulation catch to man-of-the-match Elliott behind the stumps.

When skipper Brindle followed four runs later for a well-constructed 42, it was advantage Hartsholme with the score at 92-3.

A quickfire 27 from big-hitting Keon gave the home side hope as he and Rankin tried to push on.

But when Keon was clean bowled, it left Rankin (27 not out) and the remaining batsmen too much to do and the innings closed on 167-9.