Louth U15s took on Grimsby U15s last Sunday in the Schooners Grimsby and District Cricket League Cup final in their only 40 over match of the season and came away with the title.
After winning the toss, Grimsby captain Claassen had no hesitation in bowling first to make best use of the even covering of grass layered across the wicket.
The young but experienced opening pair of William Allis and Richard Bell strode out to the crease to open the innings for Louth and both were soon keeping the scoreboard ticking over consistently as they advanced to 40 before the first wicket fell after 10 overs, Bell pulling the impressive bowling of Grimsby opener Tice straight to square leg for 15 to give them their first scalp.
The number 3 batsman for Louth was soon removed to leave Louth 45-2 and bring Issac Kirk to the crease with Allis. Kirk played defensively at first as the pair played through to drinks with Allis beginning to hit the ball hard, but generally straight at fielders.
At drinks Louth had advanced to 70-2 with Allis leading the way on 32 not out. However, with orders to increase the run rate, Allis soon fell to the deceptively slow bowling of Grimsby bowler Blake in the 26th over for 34 off 58 balls to leave Louth 87-3, after having set a strong base for the middle order batsmen to consolidate a good score.
Kirk was the most effective at building on the start he was given as he moved the score onto 114 by the 34th over with his highest ever score of 28.
However, at this point Louth’s run rate was dwindling at just 3.35 and it took an inspired and aggressive 24 from Will Brewer to boost the Louth total to 147-8 by the end of the innings as he was ably supported by the lower order as Louth reached a very defendable total.
After the interval Louth knew they needed early wickets to put Grimsby under pressure. They were therefore given a huge boost when they reduced Grimsby to 30-3 within 12 overs as Alex Bell, Daniel Holmes and Jack Leeming (6-0-25-1) all claimed a wicket apiece to leave Louth well on top.
The Tice brothers for Grimsby on the other hand, were in no mood to lie down and die as they advanced quickly to 73 off just 18 overs before the dangerous Hayden Tice was bowled by Alex Bell for 24 and the new batsman was dismissed for a duck as Louth won back the momentum that had been stolen from them to leave Grimsby in disarray at 75-5 and eventually 78-5 at drinks.
The introduction of Richard Bell into the bowling attack slowed the Grimsby run rate to a near stop, but they continued to score at the other end. Louth were again becoming nervous when Bell removed Grimsby batsman Blake for 5 as Grimsby again fell behind the game at 101-6 at the 26 over mark.
Tice was still fighting though and he pushed the score onto 123 by 32 overs before he fell LBW to Richard Bell for a dogged 40 as Louth took a huge step towards winning the game.
Louth still knew that they needed to stay focused to win and Richard (8-2-13-2) and Alex (8-0-29-3) Bell bowled beautifully to send the required run rate steadily upwards for Grimsby.
Eventually 9 off the last over simply proved too much for the lower order as they were bowled out by Daniel Holmes (8-1-24-3) off the last ball to win by 7 runs in a magnificent match which was played in fantastic spirit.
Thanks also to main club sponsors Kenwick Park Estate.