CRICKET: Youthful Louth Taveners slip to third after Graves Park onslaught

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Louth Taveners took on Graves Park in the East Lindsey cricket Division 1 on Sunday but could not return to winning ways.

After dropping crucial points last week in their top of the table clash against Alford, it was a big disappointment for the side.

Louth took a generally young side to their match with Dan Hoyle, Abbie and Luke Johnson all making their league debut’s against a strong Graves Park team, who were just behind Louth in the league table in third.

After losing the toss and being inserted to bat, Louth made a positive start to their innings as opener Will Allis in particular launched into some wayward bowling, including dispatching just the 12th ball of the game out of the ground before he was caught on the boundary for 20, just when he was beginning to look dangerous.

However, once the first wicket fell, Louth’s batting began to collapse badly as they lost 40-5 to leave Louth 71-5. At this point, captain Zubair Ahmed came to the crease and began tentatively at first, though later more aggressively, to push the score along towards respectability.

Despite this, Louth were soon on the verge of complete capitulation at 85-9 with Graves Park bowler Hodgson taking 8-1-25-5 to rip out Louth’s middle order.

However, Ahmed and number 11 Adrian Smart managed to put on a strong partnership of 55, which was dominated by Ahmed - who made his highest score for Louth of 74* off just 66 balls including 13 4s and two 6s - to give Louth hope of snatching a win if they performed at their optimum capacity as they were eventually bowled out for 140, after Smart was run out in unfortunate circumstances.

The wicket throughout the day had appeared flat despite Louth’s sub-par total. After the interval this proved to be true as Graves Park batsman Chris King launched a vicious attack on the Louth bowlers, who, with the exception of Smart who took the respectable figures of 7-1-0-27, were dispatched around the ground by King and the other opener Griffiths, who proved to be more than capable of supporting King in his onslaught.

Despite Louth captain Zubair Ahmed’s best efforts to open the game up for his side, Louth were unable to make a single breakthrough and Graves Park raced on towards their target with abandon and eventually won by 10 wickets with half of their 40 overs to spare, with King making 82*, including five 4s and five 6s, Griffiths also finishing on 42* to take them above the youthful Louth side into second in the league table.

Next Louth travel to Tetford in a match that they realistically have to win if they want to keep their title dreams feasible.

Thanks to match ball sponsor Richard Garbutt.