Baptism of fire for new Skegness skipper

Skegness skipper Norman Brackley on his way to 21 runs at Bracebridge Heath.
Skegness skipper Norman Brackley on his way to 21 runs at Bracebridge Heath.
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Bracebridge Heath 249 for 9 Skegness 132 all out (Bracebridge Heath won by 117 runs)

Cross O’Cliff Court isn’t the place to go when you have key players missing.

Skegness travelled to the home of Bracebridge Heath without the experienced Paul Butler, while Jamie Epton was playing in Skegness Town’s crucial penultimate league match at Burgh Road.

This was to prove a difficult baptism for new captain Norman Brackley.

Brackley’s makeshift side got off to a good start with the early dismissal of his home counterpart Paul Cook, caught by Daniel Nuttall off 
Tom Cuthbert for just one 
run.

Vikram Atri was Cuthbert’s second victim shortly afterwards so the seasiders had every reason to be optimistic.

Bret Houston and James Bentley were removed by Umar Farooq, who went on to finish with figures of three for 53 off 14. Pick of the Skegness bowlers though was Brackley, who claimed four wickets from the Bracebridge tail.

Failure to bowl Bracebridge out left Skegness with just four batting points.

Set 250 to win, the seasiders faced a fierce opening spell from South African Craig Schlebusch. Opener Pete Houghton took a couple of blows, but sought to attack Cameron Hall from the other end before he was caught by Atri off Hall.

The loss of Daniel Nuttall and Ben Powell in quick succession left Skegness on 47 for three after nine overs.

But the fact that Brackley and Sean Chamberlain were now in the middle called for more caution, as they needed to protect a long visiting tail.

They played a patient innings and put on 45 before Brackley became the first of Matt Carter’s six victims.

Cuthbert took the seasiders past the magic 125-run mark (one batting point) with a mammoth six.

Skegness hope to bounce back on Saturday, when Market Deeping are the visitors to Richmond Drive (12 noon start).