Readers ECB Lincolnshire Premier League
Skegness 169 for 9
Grimsby 145 all out
Skegness (20 points) beat Grimsby (5 points) by 24 runs
SPECTATORS were treated to a nail-biting finish in a low-scoring match at Richmond Drive.
Some had felt that the seasiders’ total of 169 was about 30 short of what was needed, but an excellent all-round performance in the field saw them clinch maximum points.
Skegness will have been pleased to see that the Grimsby teamsheet did not include Jim Morgan, who had scored a century against Nettleham the previous week.
But there were still plenty of big hitters in the visitors’ ranks to post a challenging score, so the home side needed a good start with the bat.
The opening partnership of 80 between Norman Brackley and Pete Houghton was most welcome before both departed in their 40s.
This brought Carl Wilson to the crease and his unbeaten knock of 44 from 71 balls kept things ticking over, despite losing partners cheaply at the other end.
From 80 for one, the home side slumped to 169 for nine from their allotted 50 overs.
It didn’t seem enough, but some excellent swing bowling from opening pair Steve Kirkham and Wade McCall applied early pressure.
McCall started with a maiden and then Kirkham made a breakthrough with his first ball, although batsman Maddock was unhappy to have been given out, claiming that the sound heard by the umpire had been caused by his bat coming into contact with his pad.
Grimsby were struggling to release themselves from the shackles and after 12 overs they had mustered just 24 runs. More importantly for Skegness, they had lost three wickets, all to the impressive Kirkham.
Even skipper Richard Antcliffe was frustrated by the movement off the pitch and perished for just six runs after facing 37 balls.
While Neal Snell remained at the crease, the meagre total posted by Skegness was very gettable and the middle order supported him well as they upped the run rate.
At this stage, having secured five wickets, Skegness were slight favourites, but a 40-run partnership between Snell and Carl Taylor changed the complexion of the game.
The visitors needed 70 from the last 20 overs and were looking strong before Skegness skipper Tony Santini brought himself on at the Sandbeck Avenue end.
He tempted Snell down the wicket in his second over and Wilson whipped off the bales before the batsman could recover. It was a smart stumping and an enormous wicket.
Carl Taylor and Gary Tillison picked up the baton, but they were separated when Tillison became Santini’s second victim.
A superb stumping by Wilson removed the dangerous Taylor, but at 131 for eight, Grimsby were still in the driving seat, and Skegness needed more wickets.
The Mariners edged their way to within 24 of the Skegness total when McCall and Kirkham were brought back into the attack.
Charlton was unlucky to be bowled by McCall, the ball appeared to bounce off his boot onto the stumps, but there was nothing unlucky about the dismissal of McGregor, who looped a swift Kirkham delivery into the hands of a grateful Houghton at point in the 44th over.
On Saturday, Skegness make the short journey down the A52 to play Boston at the Mayflower Ground, with a 12.30pm start.
N Brackley b Charlton 40
P Houghton b Linde 27
P Butler c and b Charlton 10
C Wilson not out 44
W McCall c P Taylor b Charlton 6
J Epton b Charlton 18
L Christian c Crossley b Linde 1
A Santini b C Taylor 2
S Chamberlain c Maddock b Linde 1
M Jackson c Warwick b C Taylor 0
Total (for 9) 169
Did not bat: S Kirkham
Bowling: C Taylor 10-3-32-1, G Tillison 5-1-23-0, L Charlton 17-3-44-4, P Taylor 3-0-20-0, G Linde 15-3-44-3.
R Antcliffe c Houghton b Kirkham 6
J Maddock c Wilson b Kirkham 0
N Snell s Wilson b Santini 40
G Linde c Butler b Kirkham 0
H Warwick b McCall 8
S Crossley c Epton b Christian 6
C Taylor s Wilson b Chamberlain 31
G Tillison c Brackley b Santini 15
J McGregor c Houghton b Kirkham 0
L Charlton b McCall 11
P Taylor not out 0
Total (all out) 145
Bowling: W McCall 13-4-28-2, S Kirkham 14.2-4-33-4, L Christian 4-0-26-1, A Santini 5-0-13-2, M Jackson 2-0-11-0, S Chamberlain 5-1-23-1.