Readers Lincolnshire ECB
Louth 290 for 7
Skegness 186 all out
SKEGNESS Cricket Club’s hopes of retaining their ECB status hang by a thread after this latest defeat at the hands of Louth.
They now face an anxious wait before the league management committee meets to consider the relegation issues on September 21.
Billingborough, who have previously expressed a desire to step up into the ECB league, clinched the South Lincs and border league title, as Skegness slumped to their tenth defeat of the season; a result that condemned the seasiders to 11th place in the league, just one above bottom club Nettleham.
Previous ECB members Haxey have also finished champions of the Lincolnshire premier league, and so the seasiders must wait for the ECB committee to make a decision on their fate.
The Louth fixture was a must win game for Skegness and it all began so brightly for them after they won the toss and decided to bowl.
The early wicket of Laurence Scott for nought, followed by the dismissal of Matthew Hamilton and the run out of Joe Irving gave the seasiders hope.
But Stewart West and his brother Graham put on 42 for the fourth wicket to regain the upper hand.
Stewart departed for 56 but his brother took up the fight, finishing on 59 before being trapped lbw by Jamie Epton.
There was worse to come for the seasiders, with wicket keeper Matthew Crowther picking up where the Wests left off.
He finished unbeaten three short of his century, following a partnership of 96 with Tom Corden.
Steve Kirkham was the pick of the Skegness bowlers, finishing with figures of two for 66 off nine overs.
The Skegness response had a familiar look to it, with batsmen playing themselves in but failing to go on.
Wade McCall came closest to a half century, reaching 47 before falling to the seasiders’ main tormenter Stewart West, who picked up another five wicket haul.
With wickets falling at regular intervals, the innings petered out at the beginning of the 44th over, Epton being left high and dry on 25.
l The Skegness Seconds, meanwhile, will have to wait until September 25 to see if they have done enough to lift the South Lincs and Border division two championship crown.
The seasiders had two resounding wins over the weekend, but closest rivals Stamford Seconds still have two games to play.
Should they gain maximum points in both matches, they could pip Skegness for the title.
On Saturday, Stamford beat Thomas Cook by eight wickets, while Skegness registered a 163-run victory over Billingborough Seconds, thanks largely to the 55 runs scored by Richie Hewitt.
The following day, Skegness entertained Sleaford Sunday and made an important decision to declare on 297 for seven after Pete Houghton’s 144.
The declaration allowed them four extra overs to bowl out their opponents, which they did with just two balls to spare.
Stamford trail Skegness by 37 points, with a possible 40 points up for grabs.