Another concerted team effort last Saturday saw Burgh and District prevail over Boston 3rd XI by 30 runs in a well-contested encounter at Station Road.
This was the Millers fourth victory in Division Two of the Readers South Lincs and Borders League this season.
Though a couple of heavy showers did blow through during the afternoon making conditions uncomfortable for a moment or two, it was the unpredictable pitch, a consequence of heavy rain during the week, that proved the significantly influential factor in how the afternoon developed.
Not until mid-match did the surface drying slowly in the brisk wind begin to ease off its plethora of popping bounces, a batsman’s nightmare compounded by the occasional grubber. Indeed it was one of the latter that undid Burgh’s solid start to their innings, a bemused Paul Bronks falling for 15 LBW to Vikram Kippy.
The loss of Richard Hill moments later added to what had already become a concerning lack of momentum, an equally bemused Phil Sharp and new batsman debutante Ashley Redgard struggling to find their timing for quite a while, both distinctly ill at ease with the pitch.
Boston’s attack spearheaded by Appleyard, Moore and Kippy had thus far utilised that pitch to good effect severely restricting Burgh’s scoring though, crucially, with minimal luck or success and that lack of wickets would prove costly.
Two-thirds into their team’s innings, an easing surface began to generate confidence in the Burgh batsmen and the run rate began to increase. Having added 57 for the third wicket with Sharp, Redgard (30) was to fall, a false stroke offering Appleyard at mid-wicket an easy catch, reward for the hard-working Moore but the Millers now had momentum and their skipper Richard Underwood arrived at the crease eager to forge on.
An excellent eighty runs off their last eleven overs saw Burgh’s total climb rapidly reaching 163 for 5 before their overs ran out, Sharp (54) and Underwood (31) adding 52 for the fourth wicket and Paul Wilkinson chipping in with a quick unbeaten thirteen.
For a good many overs into Boston’s reply, Burgh could not rest easy as, in resolute fashion, opener Steve Elleray, on his way to a deserved half-century, kept the visitors firmly in the contest.
Not until Redgard gave Burgh their third wicket did the Boston effort begin to falter and falter decisively it did too.
Wickets to Redgard and Sharp, one of Redgard’s a superb low catch diving forward at cover by Mike Emery, plus two run outs down to excellent fielding by Adam Swannack and young Elliott Brown dismantled the lower order.
Elleray (65) perishing along the way in a last ditch thrust for glory stumped by Hill. Boston held on notably until the last over but with two balls to go Brown swooped to leave Appleyard short of his ground thereby sealing Burgh’s victory with full bowling bonus points.
This Saturday the Millers are again at home hosting Grantham 2nd XI in the League, start time 1.30 p.m.