Lincs County League: Louth Seconds retain promotion hopes with big win

Louth Second XI batsmen Steve Wright (left) and Reggie Koen chased down the target single-handedly EMN-160815-155922002
Louth Second XI batsmen Steve Wright (left) and Reggie Koen chased down the target single-handedly EMN-160815-155922002

Louth Second XI kept their promotion hopes alive with a 10-wicket win over Appleby Frodingham on Saturday.

The victory lifted them to fourth in Lincolnshire County League Division One with their two remaining fixtures against the sides directly above them, Cleethorpes and Lindum.

With the sun blazing and the London Road outfield looking glorious, skipper Steve Wright won the toss and elected to bowl at much-changed opponents.

It seemed the right decision as Lee Freeman and Danny Rankin reduced the visitors to 25-2, but after a dry week, the lightning-fast outfield kept Louth on their toes as any stroke which breached the fielding circle raced to the boundary.

Fisher replaced Rankin and took the third wicket with the score on 60, but veteran Vinnie Grimes and Ben Bramley mounted a riposte with a stand of 82 until Wright clean bowled Bramley for 43 (142-4).

Grimes showed his experience, waiting to punish any wayward deliveries, and he and Ben Kirk added a further 46 before Lee Freeman had Grimes top edging a wide delivery to Koen at third man.

The visitors looked certain to gain full batting points as the 200 loomed, but despite after a long, hot afternoon of fielding the hosts fought hard to contain the scoring rate.

Sharp fielding by Bains in the last over stalled the innings as Appleby finished on 199-6.

In reply, the skipper reverted back to his opening role with all-rounder Koen again up the order and still unable to bowl through injury.

Having played the anchor role a week earlier, Koen became the brutal aggressor this time.

With Ben Bramley bowling five consecutive maidens to Wright, partner Koen had struck eight fours before the skipper got off the mark. By the 11th over the score had reached 54 before Bramley finally conceded a run.

Koen continued to accumulate quickly and when Bramley pulled up injured, the scoring rate accelerated as Wright finally began to catch up.

Koen remained untroubled as he reached his half-century in the 18th over as he punished any delivery not inch perfect on line or length.

Six overs later a punishing shot raced for four to bring up his century with the score on 177.

The very next over Wright brought up his 50 and the pair remained unbeaten as they reached the 200-run target in just 28 overs.

Koen’s extraordinary innings of 112 not out contained 19 fours and 4 sixes, while Wright also carried his bat for 58.