On the hottest Saturday of 2014 so far Louth 2nds travelled to take on Cherry Willingham 2nd XI in their latest Lincs League Div 2 match, hoping to reduce the gap between top of the table Caistor, who were without a game.
The pitch looked green and with Louth’s bowling attack firing skipper Phil Burrell chose to bowl first.
Early inroads were made by Reggie Koen and Phil Nicholson, as Cherry were reduced to 23 for 3. Robbie Dwyer (7-1-26-1) also bagged a wicket as the score became 33 for 4, however as the shine went off the ball batting became easier and the wicket, although looking very green, was almost as flat as the new section of A158 in Wragby which the team had travelled over on route.
Cherry batsman dug in and started to rebuild, punishing any bad balls, slow bowlers Jase Fisher (4-0-24-0) and Burrell were introduced to make scoring harder, however the pitch offered little turn, meaning a good line and length had to be bowled.
Number 4 Beattie batted with great patience to make 51 not out off 123 balls as Cherry closed on 146 for 7 off 45 overs, Nicholson (8-6-5-2), Koen (12-2-42-2) and Burrell (14-3-40-2) were the pick of the Louth attack, which did well to keep the runs down on a very good pitch with short boundaries to three sides.
After tea, opening pair Steve Wright and Richard Bell set about chasing the target down, both batsman scored freely once again showing what a fantastic batting track this was, the pair reached 50 in under 10 overs as the runs were flowing, Bell playing some excellent cover drives and Wright displaying amazing stroke play all round the ground.
The 100 partnership came up in the 17th over, showing what a formidable opening pair these two are. As Bell closed in on his first 2nd XI 50 the rain started to fall and selflessly he gave his wicket away for the team cause trying to finish the game before it was abandoned,
However his accomplished 44 showed at 13 years of age he has a massive future ahead of him in the game.
This wicket brought to an end a 1st wicket partnership of 131, Wright in similar fashion to Bell also played for the team, being bowled for a superb 92, which included 13 boundaries and three maximums.
Louth managed to reach their victory target for the loss of three wickets in the 27th over to secure 15 valuable points.
A great team spirit was shown throughout, the umpires commented on what a pleasure it was to umpire such a great game. Thanks to our match ball sponsors Gleadell Agriculture Ltd.