Bracebridge beaten by seasiders for first time

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Lincolnshire Cricket Board

Premier League

Bracebridge Heath 165 for 7

Skegness 166 for 8

Skegness (15pts) beat Bracebridge Heath (5pts)

by two wickets.

History was made at Richmond Drive on Saturday when the seasiders beat the former ECB champions from Bracebridge Heath for the first time.

And what a way to do it!

Supporters were on the edge of their seats as the home side passed their opponents’ total with just two balls to spare.

It was a game that could have gone either way and right until the nail-biting finale both sides were in with a chance of clinching the glory.

Chasing 165, it was veteran Paul Butler who held the home innings together, while youngster Dan Nuttall played a huge part in seeing the seasiders over the line.

Played in gloomy and damp conditions, it was a slow-scoring match with very few boundaries. Indeed the experienced Butler’s priceless knock of 41 didn’t include one crossing of the boundary rope.

So imagine what must have been running through the mind of 18-year-old Nuttall as he stepped out to join the much more experienced Dan Milgate in the middle with the score on 157 for seven.

Surely all he needed to do was hold up the other end to allow Milgate the chance to knock off the nine runs needed.

But no, Milgate was despatched by man of the match Brett Houston without adding to the total so the teenager was thrust into the spotlight.

Having disappointed with the bat on his previous ECB appearances this was a real test of the youngster’s nerves. And he passed with flying colours.

With Aussie Sean Williams at the other end, Nuttall left nothing to chance by smashing the first ball of the last over, bowled by Matthew Carter, for four.

That nerve-settling strike sparked jubilation from the home crowd and made the rest of Nuttall’s task so much easier. He finished with eight crucial runs from the five balls he faced.

Skegness had been relatively comfortable after a 55-run partnership between Sean Chamberlain and Butler. But when Butler departed on 156 for six and Jarrod Hoskin was run out, followed by Milgate’s dismissal, the visitors sensed blood.

However the youngster Nuttall delivered the goods.

Earlier the slow scoring had been illustrated by the fact that opener Ricky Lovelace batted for 17 overs before hitting his first boundary. He finished with 37 off 96 balls.

Bracebridge’s total would have been much less had the seasiders taken their chances when fielding.

Five dropped catches and a missed stumping, mostly off the unlucky Milgate, let the visitors off the hook as they toiled to 165 for seven off their 50 overs.

Hymie Bentley was their top scorer with 52, scored off 104 balls in 107 minutes. He became the third victim of the impressive Sean Williams in his next facing ball, caught by Saeed Bariwala.

After the exciting finish, Skegness captain Richie Hewitt was delighted, saying that he hoped the result would act as a springboard for the rest of the season.

His team travel to champions Haxey on Saturday bidding to turn those hopes into reality.

Scores

Bracebridge Heath - N John lbw b Williams 9; V Atri b Williams 11; B Houston lbw b Bariwala 8; J H Bentley ct Bariwala b Williams 52; S Fraser-Cattanach run out (Lovelace) 22; D Whapplington not out 33; M Carter ct Lovelace b Bariwala 5; J Wright run out (Butler) 6; B Stephenson not out 1; M Bradley did not bat; M Knights did not bat.

Extras 18. Total (for 7 wkts) 165

Bowling - S Williams 13-3-35-3; J Epton 6-1-20-0; D Milgate 17-2-67-0; S Bariwala 14-3-32-2.

Skegness - S Bariwala ct Stephenson b Houston 17; R Lovelace ct Carter b Bradley 37; R Hewitt ct Bentley b Houston 0; J Epton ct Houston b Carter 12; P Butler b Carter 41; S Chamberlain st Bentley b Houston 21; D Milgate ct Atri b Houston 7; J Hoskin run out (Stephenson) 0; D Nuttall not out 8; S Williams not out 1; M Santini did not bat.

Extras 22. Total (for 8 wkts) 166

Bowling - Stephenson 7-0-29-0; Houston 15-1-49-4; M Knights 6-1-12-0; M Carter 10.4-3-27-2; M Bradley 11-1-42-1.