CRICKET: Koen’s last stand snatches unlikely victory for Louth 2nds

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After sterling work by groundsman Martin Deans on Friday following more than four inches of rain, Louth 2nd XI played host to Hibaldstow on Saturday.

The wicket was obviously damp and green and Louth had no hesitation in bowling first. Hibaldstow were soon in trouble as Reggie Koen removed the two openers thanks to good catches from wicketkeeper Richard Bell and Will Lake at second slip.

Phil Nicholson was introduced to the attack and started with a double wicket maiden. Nicholson bowled an excellent line and length to finish with figures of 7-5-4-2, Jase Fisher (4-1-18-1) removed top scorer Cowling for 22, and the innings then fell away as Robbie Dwyer (9-1-33-1) picked up a wicket thanks to another sharp catch by Lake in slip.

Phil Burrell (5-2-7-2) collected a couple of wickets as Koen returned to finish with 4 for 27 off 11.5 overs, Hibaldstow all out for 95. Special mention to 13-year-old Richard Bell who kept wicket superbly in very tough conditions.

After tea Louth set about the low but potentially challenging target.

Opening pair Steve Wright (8) and Richard Bell (2) soon departed to leave Louth 12 for 2, this soon became 20 for 4, as more wickets fell.

Thoughts rolled back to two weeks ago when a batting collapse against Alford cost Louth victory and at 61 for 9 the game looked gone.

However, Reggie Koen had other ideas as he blasted three massive sixes, and along with number 11 Jase Fisher the pair inched Louth ever closer to the victory target.

The game looked up when Koen skied a chance, only for the fielder to spill the catch.

As the score got closer nobody moved on the balcony, each run, each dot ball greeted with rapturous applause from the Louth CC team and spectators, the second ball of the 28th over was a wide and Fisher, sharp off the mark, called Koen to seal victory for Louth, an unbroken stand of 35 winning the game.

Man of the match for his four wickets and unbeaten 49 match winning runs was undoubtedly Reggie Koen.

A great game of cricket played in fantastic spirit by both sets of players. Thanks to match ball sponsors Gleadell Agriculture Ltd.