Grimsby’s Neal Snell hit the only century against Louth as brilliant sunshine welcomed the first weekend of the Readers Lincolnshire ECB Premier League season. But despite his efforts, Louth came out on top in the day’s highest scoring match.
Arran Brindle hit 71 for the home side and Jason Collinson and overseas signing Azeem Ghumman contributed 44 and 43 respectively as Louth reached 233 for six, David White taking three wickets for Grimsby who were then reduced to 10 for two by Andy Carrington. Snell came to the crease with the score on 47 for three. However, the overs ran out with the visitors 18 short of their target with Snell unbeaten on 100.
Champions Haxey got off to a good start with Graeme Attenborough’s 47 helping his side to 175 before the final wicket fell. South African Josh Savage then celebrated his arrival in the league with two wickets in two balls in his first over.
Despite some dogged resistance from Christian Millar and Louis Kimber with a stand of 32 for the third wicket, Hartsholme never recovered from this early blow and when Attenborough and Mark Atkins joined forces in the attack, wickets fell steadily.
Liam Moir-Holland batted steadily for his unbeaten 22 but ran out of partners with the total on 86, Atkins with three wickets and Attenborough and Savage with three each.
Four teams picked up the maximum 20 points – Bracebridge Heath, Bourne, Market Deeping and Skegness.
Bracebridge welcomed two new signings, Australian Martin Stephenson who took three wickets and Matt Carter, formerly with Cherry Willingham, who took four as Woodhall Spa were bowled out for 74, a total the home side reached for the loss of four wickets, all falling to Ben O’Brien.
Spalding’s Premier League debut got off to a disastrous start as the newcomers lost their top five batsmen for just 16 runs to Market Deeping’s Ali Sharp and Tom Andrews.
Zimbabwean Campbell Light stopped the slide, adding 58 with Michael Kearns but when Light fell to Mehul Adatia for 52, Spalding were reduced to 84 all out. Andrews finished with five for 24 while Adatia bowled 10 overs with eight maidens and took three for five.
Deeping had reached 24 when wickets began to fall and at 39 for four, a collapse could have been on the cards. But Chris Jones was still there and, first with Alex Wheatley then with Adatia, the opener saw his side to a five wicket victory with an unbeaten 34, Light taking three wickets.
Bourne’s maximum haul came at the expense of Sleaford who were all out for 133 despite an opening knock of 59 from new signing Ben Raine. Raine was dismissed by Darren Cousins who went on to take four wickets while Colin Cheer claimed three.
Conrad Louth and Peter Morgan then hit 54 and 50 respectively to take Bourne to a nine wicket win.
Sean Williams, Australian but with a British passport, announced his arrival at Skegness with a haul of five for 39 off 13 overs to help bowl Lindum out for 133, Richard Bishop top scoring with 37 and Geoff Middleton hitting 36.
From 42 without loss, the seasiders found themselves 50 for three but Richie Hewitt and Paul Butler added 62 and Butler’s knock of 36 helped his side to a four wicket win.
Woodhall Spa 74, Bracebridge Heath 75-4;
Spalding 84 (Light 52, T Andrews 5-24), Market Deeping 86-5;
Haxey 175, Hartsholme 86;
Lindum 133 (Williams 5-39), Skegness 134-6;
Sleaford 133 (Raine 59), Bourne 139-1 (Louth 54, Morgan 50);
Louth 233-6 (Brindle 71), Grimsby 215-9 (Snell 100no);