After last week’s tremendous win over Grimsby Town, a rejuvenated Louth CC travelled to mid-table Sleaford, but found themselves on the back foot again.
On a bright day at Sleaford, the hosts won the toss and elected to bat, but Louth skipper Andy Carrington led from ball one, creating a chance instantaneously, and the breakthrough came when a ball seamed back and dismissed Sleaford’s opener with the score on three.
Arran Brindle supported Carrington (3 for 63) from the other end and kept the pressure on, eventually forcing the second wicket with the score on 26.
Sleaford regained their composure and steadied the ship with some watchful batting from their overseas signing Cephas Zhuwao, guiding them to 103 before Paul Martin stood up and claimed another wicket.
The game ebbed and flowed with Louth gaining the upper hand after a smart piece of fielding from Matt Hamilton who picked up cleanly, and ran out the set batsmen Tom Shorthouse for 52.
Seb Darke and Tom Cuthbert helped keep the pressure on by removing the dangerous Oliver Burford for 0 and Matthew Mountain (30) to reduce Sleaford to 156-6.
Sleaford’s captain Shaun Morris fought back with an unbeaten 53, and with the help from the tail, took the score to 255-7.
In reply, Louth struggled to gain any momentum, losing wickets at regular intervals, with Laurence Scott the first to go, stumped brilliantly by Sleaford’s wicketkeeper on six before John Medler was trapped lbw on 15.
With Louth struggling at 26-2, heavy rain consumed the ground, but it seemed to help as Xander Pitchers and Darke started to rebuild the innings, until the latter became the second batsmen to fall leg before, this time off the Adi Sreedharan.
Against tight bowling, Louth’s batsmen crumbled from 55-3 too 100-9.
With points becoming important within a tight league, wicketkeeper Henry Tye and Carrington guided Louth past 125 runs to earn another batting point with some outstanding defence and brilliant shot selection.
But the end was nigh when Sreedharan flighted a ball, and Louth’s captain was stumped with the score on 126.
Pitchers top scored with 44 off 99 balls, and Tye added a pivotal unbeaten 18.
Thanks to Louth CC club sponsors Kenwick Park and matchball sponsors Colorgrafix of Louth.
On Saturday the First XI host defending champions Bracebridge Heath (noon start).