Louth CC Third XI youngsters excel in narrow defeat

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Louth Thirds lost their 100 per cent winning start in County league Division Four after their run chase fell just short at Old Lincolnians.

After winning their first two games with their blend of young and senior players, confidence was high.

Stand-in skipper Dean Wright won the important toss and put the hosts in to bat on a green wicket under overcast conditions.

The decision soon paid off when Steve Sandy had the opener caught by the keeper Keith West in the second over.

From the other end young Harry King bowled with pace and aggression and was unlucky but not to pick up a wicket from a good spell.

Mark Duell bowled his usual good line and length with some swing, which rewarded him with a wicket to reduce Lincolnians to 36-2 after 15 overs.

At this stage young leg spinner Bailey Wright came on and made the ball spin viciously, taking two wickets in two balls, and when Duell removed their set batsman Leverett for 30, the hosts were struggling at 58-5 after 25 overs.

With accurate bowling from Duell (3 for 20) and Bailey (2 for 43), the runs dried up and the scoring rate dropped.

When another set batsman Hart (35) was brilliantly run out by Fergus, Lincolnians were 97-7 after 40 overs before late order hitting in the last five overs took their total to 130-8.

Louth knew scoring would be tough on a deteriorating wicket, and they started slowly and steadily with Dean and Duell opening the batting.

Against accurate bowling, Louth found it difficult to score, making 20-0 in the first 10 overs.

Duell was run out for 13 in trying to get an extra run, and up against uneven bounce Louth slipped to a precarious 53-5 after 29 overs.

King’s arrival sparked another twist, and his counter-attack on a difficult wicket took Lincolnians by surprise as some delightful stroke took Louth to 112/6 in 40 overs.

With only 20 needed from five overs Louth were firm favourites, with King in control, but he was caught trying to play another aggressive stroke.

Drew made a battling 16 as he tried steer Louth home with the younger players, but the visitors fell just four runs short.

Buckley (15-2-22-3) and Barka (12-2-48-4) were the pick of the home bowlers. 

Louth should be proud of their efforts with a special mention for young King who bowled and batted aggressively, and fellow youngster Wright for his exceptional spell of leg spin bowling.

Louth travel to Immingham to play Cleethorpes on Saturday.

Thanks to matchball sponsors Colorgrafix.