CRICKET: Grimsby hold on to frustrate Louth

John Medler EMN-140707-125234001
John Medler EMN-140707-125234001

Louth travelled to Augusta Street to face local rivals Grimsby Town, in hope of completing the double over their opponents.

However, after two recent poor performances with the bat against Spalding and Skegness, they were badly in need of some players to step up to the plate with willow in hand.

West came to the crease with the score on 156. The earlier rain had meant the innings was reduced to 44 overs, so having lost the toss the Louth batsmen went out in the burgeoning sunshine, but predictably the outlook was yet again dark and gloomy for Stewart West as he found a thin edge off the pace bowling of Cliff to be caught behind, with the score on 20.

In strode John Medler to join opener Laurence Scott. Medler was in fine form after two good scores in previous games. But things did not go to plan initially against the pace and bounce of Cliff, who caused Medler serious problems early on, with blows to the body and edges past slip and ‘keeper.

However, Medler is made of stern stuff and he battled for several overs and combined with stoic defence and precise attacking play from Scott, the pair began nudging Louth into a dominating position.

Scott again looked much the better of the Louth openers, but was unfortunately judged LBW on 37. In recent weeks, this would likely have led to a Louth collapse, but the harsh words in last week’s changing room seemed to have some impact as the middle order batted with great application in the form of Amila Weththasinghe.

He was watchful early on and then along with Medler they began to push the score on towards 150, until Weththasinghe played one big shot too many and dragged a wide one on to his stumps, off the bowling of Cliff for a classy looking knock of 45.

This brought Henry Tye to the crease, who immediately launched a huge six, but then tried to repeat it and was bowled.

Medler and West then set about the Grimsby bowling in some style, with Medler hooking two venomous fours off the bouncy pace bowling of Cliff, which both saw him floored, much to the crowd and his teammates amusement.

West stole the show in the last few overs though, really taking the game away from Grimsby by smashing two huge sixes out of the ground and hitting 10 runs off the last two deliveries of the game, to see him reach his 50 in great style. Louth finished on an impressive 232, having hit nearly 80 runs off the last eight overs.

Grimsby’s response was very positive with the impressive looking young Joe Farmery and more experienced Steve Butterfield taking on the bowling of Weththasinghe with some gutsy attacking stroke play.

Grimsby fairly raced to 40 without loss off 6 overs and it very much looked game on. Unusually, Weththasinghe had erred from his usual good length and was struggling with the footholds, so was replaced by Stewart West.

West immediately bowled six good away swingers to Butterfield, who found it difficult to score. At the other end, Carrington bowled five dot balls at Farmery.

These 11 balls were crucial in the context of the game, as it had stooped the free flow of runs. Farmery had a wild swing at the last ball of Carrington’s over and dragged on to his stumps.

After that breakthrough, Carrington and West really got stuck into the Grimsby batters in a super piece of partnership bowling. West bowled a long and probing spell at star batsmen Maninder Singh, which saw the talented Indian only score one run off five overs, before West had him trapped LBW.

Carrington was nipping it around off the deck from his end and removed Butterfield and Grimsby skipper Steve Crossley, both finding themselves back in the pavilion with barely a run added.

With Grimsby’s relative lack of depth in lower order batting, it was now looking likely Grimsby may be bowled out. However, even in the face of some hostile pace from the returning Weththasinghe, the young Grimsby players contrived to hang on with the two young Rice twins batting particularly well in the final overs to finish on 155 for 9.

Weththasinghe picked up four cheap wickets on his return and Jake Sanders bowled well without luck, but bowling plaudits went to Carrington and West for removing Grimsby’s dangerous top order. Man of the match performance went to John Medler for his impressive and determined 70 runs.

Next week, Louth entertain League newcomers Market Rasen at London Road and they will be looking to continue up the table, from their current fourth position. Thanks to club sponsors Kenwick Park Estate and match ball sponsor Classic Freight Limited.