Ann Boulton looks at this weekend’s matches...
Two hours of football in the middle of cricket matches and a fixture starting at 9am were just some of innovations in the Readers Lincolnshire ECB Premier League that enabled Saturday cricketers to watch England progress to the World Cup semi-finals.
The early start was at Boston where even at 9am the temperature was in the 20s.
Woodhall Spa won the toss and elected to bat, but at 131 for seven looked set for a low score.
However, from 145 for eight, a late flurry from Jack Hughes and James White added 30 and the overs ended on 178 for eight.
Boston lost an early wicket on seven and the second on 40 but Jonny Cheer and Ishan Jayaratne – who had had earlier taken two wickets – added 100 and when the Sri Lankan was out for 56, Cheer went on to make an unbeaten 77 and take Boston to seven-wicket win.
One of the few matches to start at the normal time proved to be one of the closest and most exciting of the day.
Grantham visited Lindum who won the toss and elected to bat, only to find themselves six wickets down for only 38 runs, Dan Freeman claiming all six.
Euan Pickering and Ben Rolfs took the total of 62 but it was the arrival of Jake Benson at the crease with the total on 93 for eight that brought a late revival.
Benson and Rolfs put on 82 and when Rolfs was last man out for 89, Lindum has set Grantham a target of 191.
Freeman took seven for 36 but James Dewhurst and Will Wright were also on good bowling form and by the time the visitors’ score had reached 50, five wickets were down.
James Keast and Dan Webb put on 65 but when Webb was out for 77, Grantham were still a long way from victory on 155 for eight with Joe Peck and Neil Stevenson at the crease.
Their dogged partnership ate into the total and despite the efforts of the Lindum bowlers, with 10 balls of the innings remaining, Grantham eased to a slender two wicket win.
This reduced Bracebridge’s lead at the top of the table to 22 points after Alford bowled them out for 166, Kit Spence top scoring with 30.
Joe Price and Alex Willerton then took four wickets each as Alford were all out for 52.
Jack Berry took four wickets for Bourne after Market Deeping had elected to bat at Abbey Lawn.
Deeping recovered from 37 for three to make 153, but a second wicket stand of 76 between Sam and Joey Evison put Bourne on the road to a six wicket victory.
Neal Snell hit 66 of Grimsby Town’s total of 198 at Heslam Park, the final wicket falling with three balls remaining.
Scunthorpe then lost five wickets before claiming victory in the penultimate over of their innings, Ian Snowden hitting an unbeaten 62.
The highest total of the day came at Sleaford where over 580 runs were scored, including two
Tom Shorthouse hit 152 for the home side and Charlie Roberts 100 in a third wicket partnership of 227 and the innings ended on 330 for eight, Seb Darke taking four wickets.
Louth lost four wickets for 63 runs but Richard Bell and Jason Collinson put on 125 the fifth and Matt Hamilton chipped in with late knock of 48 and Louth finished on 254 for eight, Bell scoring 62.
Results: Bracebridge Heath 166, Alford 52; Woodhall Spa 178-8, Boston 179-3 (Jayaratne 56, Cheer 77no); Market Deeping 153, Bourne 156-4; Lindum 191 (Rolfs 89, Freeman 7-36), Grantham 192-8 (Webb 77); Grimsby Town 198 (Snell 66), Scunthorpe Town 200-5 (Snowden 62no); Sleaford 330-8 (Shorthouse 152, Roberts 100), Louth 254-8 (Bell 62).