SKEGNESS give the impression they prefer to do things the hard way.
Having bowled Grimsby out for just 121 the seasiders were expected to coast to victory in this match.
But the home side made them toil for this win and pushed them to the wire.
Despite making hard work of it, it was a win that cemented their place at the top of the table.
Indeed, with nearest challengers Haxey falling at Sleaford, the leaders are now 22 points clear. And perhaps more importantly, they go into Saturday’s crucial home clash with champions Bracebridge Heath 47 points ahead of their opponents.
Skegness captain Saeed Bariwala said afterwards that it had been a good team effort.
“We did well to bowl them out for 121 and although it looked easy at first we started losing wickets in pairs,” he said.
He again singled out David Jacobs for his solid batting performance. This time Jacobs hung around to complete the job by smacking the winning runs over the head of left hand spin bowler Johannes Diseko.
His 15-ball innings was even more impressive when it emerged afterwards that he had been struggling with sciatica for most of the game.
In truth, the game had already been pushed beyond Grimsby’s reach by the fourth wicket partnership of 53 between Adrian Gordon and Paul Butler.
Top scorer Gordon, who had earlier impressed with the ball, made 28 off 41 balls before being dismissed by a Carl Taylor yorker.
When two balls later Sean Chamberlain made a swift return to the pavilion, Grimsby sensed that they had a chance and this was strengthened by the dismissal of Butler, caught behind by home skipper Jim Morgan off Taylor.
But a useful knock of ten by Jamie Epton restored the seasiders’ stranglehold and Jacobs stepped up to see them home.
Some of the Grimsby batsmen will be kicking themselves for throwing away their wickets. Who knows what could have happened if their bowlers had had an extra 30 runs to play with? Extras was their equal top scorer with opener Richard Antcliffe as they were bowled out in less than 38 overs.
Bariwala was again the pick of the bowlers in terms of figures, with four wickets for 20 runs, but Gordon was unlucky not to better that with his lively 13-over spell.
“Adrian is now fully fit and consistently bowling really quickly,” said Bariwala. “He has chosen a great time to get fit.”Gordon admitted that the poor weather had hampered his midweek practice until last week, when he had been able to spend more time in the nets.
“I’ve been trying to correct things in the matches, because the wet weather has prevented me practising,” he explained.
On Saturday Skegness welcome champions Bracebridge Heath to Richmond Drive, starting at 12.30pm.
Skegness - S. Bariwala b Tillison, 16; P. Houghton ct Snell b Cocks 6; O. Pringle, lbw b Tillison 5; A. Gordon b Taylor 28; P. Butler ct Morgan b Taylor 24; S. Chamberlain lbw b Taylor 0; J. Epton b Cocks 10; A. Santini lbw b Cocks 5; D. Jacobs not out 6; M. Santini not out 0; S. Kirkham did not bat. Extras 24, Total (for 8 wkts) 124
Bowling - G. Tillison 5-0-27-2; M. Cocks 11-0-42-3; J. Diseko 6-1-22-0; D. White 4-1-8-0; C. Taylor 5-0-21-3.
Grimsby - R. Antcliffe b Pringle 26; J. Morgan ct Jacobs b Pringle 1; N. Snell lbw b Gordon 20; H. Hardwick b Gordon 6; J. Wilson ct Chamberlain b Bariwala 3; L. Charlton ct Gordon b Kirkham 3; J. Diseko lbw b Bariwala 2; C. Taylor ct Epton b Kirkham 7; G. Tillison ct Gordon b Bariwala 9; M.Cocks not out 8; D. White ct Epton b Bariwala 10. Extras 26, Total (all out) 121. Bowling - A. Gordon 13-2-37-2; O. Pringle 9-0-24-2; S. Bariwala 9-4-2-20-4; S. Kirkham 6-0-30-2.
Results - Hartsholme 110-9, Boston 111-0 (J Cheer 78no); Grimsby 121, Skegness 124-8; Haxey 150, Sleaford 151-6; Lindum 263-7 (Middleton 84), Market Deeping 150 (Bowers 58); Bourne v Louth – cancelled, waterlogged pitch.