Batting costs the seasiders

Skegness saw their hopes of a third consecutive ECB Premier League outright win go west in a low-scoring match at Richmond Drive.

Louth wicket keeper Graham West snapped up six catches and his brother Stewart bagged two more as the seasiders threatened to return their lowest ever score.

At one point they were struggling on 11 for five, chasing Louth’s 173, before a couple of partnerships added some respectability to the score.

Having won the toss and deciding to bat first, Louth got off to a steady start, with Laurence Scott and Keaton Critchell putting on a half century before Saeed Bariwala found a way through Critchell’s defences.

Scott continued to steadily build his innings and reached his half century from 106 balls.

He went on to make 58 before Ray Jordan’s catch off Norman Brackley’s bowling brought the curtain down on his time in the middle.

Some tight bowling by Bariwala and Brackley prevented the middle order accelerating, although Tom Corden’s 33 off 30 balls triggered the return of Jordan to clean up the tail.

Corden put on 19 with Nic Keast for the seventh wicket and then partnered Tom Ryder in an eighth wicket stand of 22 to frustrate the bowlers before Brackley spun him out in the 47th over.

Jordan’s return saw him wrap things up with wickets on the first and last ball of the 48th.

Brackley was the pick of the bowlers with five for 47 off his 11 overs.

In response, the Skegness innings started disastrously and got worse.

Australian Critchell and skipper Andy Carrington had bowled just two overs each when the seasiders were floundering with three wickets down and only three runs on the board.

Pradeep Chanditha was first to go, caught behind by Graham West off Critchell on the fourth ball of the innings.

His strike partner Dylan Labuschagne lasted just three balls from Carrington at the other end before being caught by Richard Bell.

Carrington had Brackley caught by Stewart West in his second over and Skegness were reeling.

Saeed Bariwala, hero with the ball seven days earlier, was required to produce some magic with the bat, but Critchell sent him packing.

Captain Sean Chamberlain went to the middle to try and steady the ship, but was soon seeing the back of Jamie Epton, who became Critchell’s third victim of the day during his second wicket maiden.

Partnering Ray Jordan, Chamberlain put on 40 to stem the flow of wickets.

When he perished at the hands of his opposite number Carrington, Jordan continued to bat in a positive mode.

The West Indian all rounder finished with 40 from 31 balls, one of the few bright spells of the Skegness innings.

He was finally dismissed by Carrington, which brought Mark Chamberlain and Liam Taylor to the crease.

Both batted intelligently against Carrington, Keast and Corden, but when it was considered that they had overstayed their welcome in the middle Critchell was brought back into the attack.

His fifth ball of the 28th over was nicked behind by Chamberlain and West dived to his right to take a one-handed catch in front of first slip.

Taylor did well to manouvre the strike, but he became Critchell’s fifth victim of the day when he edged the first ball of the 30th over to wicket keeper West.

This presented Critchell with his best figures of the season (5-33).

The defeat leaves Skegness in ninth place, but Grimsby’s win over Boston has put the seasiders in a precarious position, just eight points above the relegation places.

On Saturday Skegness hope to get back to winning ways when they travel for a tricky contest away at fifth placed Grantham.