Louth First XI undone again at league leaders Woodhall Spa

Market Rasen's Nic Keast made his maiden century at the weekend EMN-151105-134513001

Market Rasen's Nic Keast made his maiden century at the weekend EMN-151105-134513001

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Louth First XI remained winless in the Lincolnshire ECB Premier League after slipping to a fourth defeat of the season at leaders Woodhall Spa on Saturday.

The six-wicket loss against a strong Spa side saw Louth drop to second-bottom in the early season standings and become the only side without a win after five games.

Louth captain Andy Carrington won the toss at Jubilee Park and decided to bat first.

Openers Laurence Scott and Richard Bell made a solid enough start. But when Scott was trapped lbw for 13, and John Medley followed without scoring, both falling to Joe Irving (2 for 29), the visitors were 19-2.

Jason Collinson helped Louth consolidate with a patient 15, but when he was cleaned up by Etienne Botha, and Bell (28) became Malinga Bandara’s first wicket, Louth were back in trouble at 76-4.

In-form all-rounder Amila Wettasinghe and Graham West again rebuilt the innings with a fifth wicket partnership worth 51 runs.

But again wickets fell in pairs as the loss of Wettasinghe (38) was followed five runs later by Tom Corden (0) to leave the visitors 132-6.

Stewart (22) and Graham West (38) took the score to a promising 165-6, but Bandara (5 for 64) returned to clean up the tail as Louth lost their final four wickets for just 10 runs.

Defending a modest total against a strong batting line-up, Louth needed an early breakthrough and got the perfect start when Wettasinghe had opener Bandara caught by Bell without scoring.

But Woodhall opener Jack Luffman and Ricky Lovelace attacked the bowling as fellow opening bowler Carrington shipped 33 runs, including 12 wides, from his four overs.

The pair were just two runs short of a century partnership when Nic Keast (3 for 36) had Lovelace caught by Carrington for a fluent 36, a knock which included seven fours.

Keast trapped Botha lbw for five and then bowled Matthew Wooldridge for 14 to give the hosts a mild scare at 154-4.

But Spa skipper Luffman could not be shifted, and guided the home side to their target from just 36 overs with an unbeaten 85, made from 96 balls.

Louth will have seen enough signs of encouragement as they prepare to host local rivals Market Rasen, who sit sixth, at London Road on Saturday (noon start).