Readers Lincolnshire ECB Premier League
Woodhall Spa 287 for 7
Skegness 234 for 8
IT was a game that Skegness could not afford to lose as a win could have lifted the Seasiders out of the bottom two in the league to ease their relegation worries.
But in the end, a number of dropped catches left them with a mountain to climb.
And, despite a captain’s innings of 75 not out from Wade McCall, Skegness had to settle for a losing draw.
It bagged them a total of 11 points as they fight for ECB survival.
Their opponents, and relegation rivals, Woodhall registered four more points by virtue of their higher total as finally their overseas player Fawad Alam found some form.
His century helped set the visitors a massive 288 to win, but after losing a couple of early wickets they were never really up with the pace.
McCall and Paul Butler’s stand of 89 for the third wicket gave them hope, as did the swashbuckling 37 from 29 balls of Lochlan Christian, but the Seasiders were always a couple of wickets and 30 runs short.
After the loss of their number seven, Carl Wilson, survival became the priority and the injured McCall was ably supported by Sean Chamberlain (19 off 19 balls) and Michael Jackson (21 off 17 balls) in this quest.
Earlier Skegness’s hopes of avoiding relegation were dealt a massive blow with an opening partnership of 100 between Ricky Lovelace and Sam Evison, but it was loose fielding that cost the visitors dearly.
In reply Skegness lost opener Norman Brackley in the first over and Pete Houghton followed him back to the pavilion with the score on 33.
This left old hands McCall and Butler to steady the ship.
They kept the scoreboard ticking over until Butler was controversially given out, caught behind. He insisted the ball had only hit his pad.
Youngster Jamie Epton was run out, tumbling half way down the wicket after being sent back by his captain.
This brought Aussie Lochlan Christian to the centre and he wasted no time in pushing the score along.
His partnership of 51 with McCall included three huge sixes, two of which would have had residents enjoying the late afternoon sunshine in their back gardens diving for cover.
His innings brought Skegness back into contention, but it closed when he found Alam on the legside boundary, right in front of the pavilion.
Wilson lasted just four balls before being caught at mid-off by Matthew Sargeant.
Jackson and Sean Chamberlain held onto their wickets to help McCall frustrate the home bowlers.
It wasn’t the victory the seasiders so desperately needed going into their final three matches, but it closed the gap on fourth-to-bottom Hartsholme.
On Saturday Skegness welcome fourth placed Sleaford to Richmond Drive (12noon start), while Hartsholme make the short journey to leaders Bracebridge Heath. Woodhall Spa, who are now six points ahead of Skegness in tenth place, travel to Grimsby.
S Evison CT Christian B Kirkham 71
R Lovelace CT J Epton B Christian 40
F Alam CT Butler B S Chamberlain 100
J Huges Run Out 0
J Luffman CT Christain B S Chamerberlain 13
D Milgate CT McCall B S Chamberlain 4
M Sargeant LBW B McCall 17
C Wright Not Out 0
P Epton Not Out 0
L Smith Did not bat
M Haslam Did not bat
Total (For 7 WKTS) 287
Bowling: W McCall 8-3-33-1; S Kirkham 15-2-87-1; M Jackson 1-0-11-0; L Christian 4-0-23-1; N Brackley 17-1-80-0; S Chamberlain 5-0-45-3.
N Brackley CT Luffman B Sergeant 4
P Houghton CT Evison B Sergeant 22
P Butler CT Huges B Alam 40
W McCall Not Out 75
J Epton Run Out 3
L Christian C Alam B Sergeant 37
C Wilson CT Sergeant B Alam 1
S Chamberlain CT Alam B Milgate 21
M Jackson Did not bat
S Kirkham Did not bat
Totals (For 8 WKTS) 234
M Sargeant 9-2-32-3; L Smith 7-1-33-0; D Milgate 11-1-60-2; F Alam 17-1-82-2; M Haslam 6-1-24-0.