Sleaford crowned champions as Readers Lincolnshire ECB Premier League reaches climax

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A dramatic finish to the Readers Lincolnshire ECB Premier League saw Sleaford snatch the championship from Woodhall Spa in the dying moments of the season.

Playing at Grimsby, where the weather forced a reduction of 20 overs in the length of the match, Sleaford’s 40 overs brought them a score of 196 for four.

On the way to this total, Tim McIntosh broke the league runs record, hitting 50 to take him to 1203 for the season.

Grimsby were then bowled out for 78 with Shaun Morris claiming five for 22 to end with 53 wickets.

Meanwhile, down at Market Deeping, an even wetter pitch brought an even later start to the game and a reduction to 60 overs.

Woodhall reached 150 for nine off their 30, Lee Peacock taking five for 54. Deeping then found themselves three wickets down for only four runs.

Worse was to follow as the home side collapsed to 35 for six. But the lower order, led by wicketkeeper Ben Willemson, rallied and with all other results in, all eyes were on Outgang Road ground as the score crept up.

The 19-year-old Kiwi hit 55 and with still two overs to go, Deeping celebrated an unlikely win by two wickets and deny Woodhall the winner’s trophy.

Elsewhere, after a disappointing season, Haxey went out on a high note in the closest game of the day, beating Lindum by just three runs. Graeme Attenborough made 65 and Jon Miller took six wickets as Haxey were bowled out for 174.

Josh Savage then took four wickets and Graeme Attenborough and Mark Atkins three each as Lindum closed in on their target but the final wicket fell to Savage on 171.

It was almost as close at Skegness where Saeed Bariwala celebrated his last match in the Lincolnshire ECB Premier League by hitting 59 of his side’s total of 164. Louth looked to be making a successful chase for the runs but were all out just six short, Bariwala taking four wickets.

At Spalding, the home side also made it a good finish to the season, chasing Bourne’s total of 139 to win by two wickets, Tom Dale taking six for 50 and Nabeed Bhayla making an unbeaten 58 while for Bourne Darren Cousins claimed five for 47.

Results - Haxey 174 (Attenborough 65, Miller 6-70), Lindum 171; Bourne 139 (Dale 6-50), Spalding 140-8 (Bhayla 58no, Cousins 5-47); Skegness 164 (Bariwala 59), Louth 158; Woodhall Spa 150-9 (Peacock 5-54), Market Deeping 151-8 (Willemson 55); Sleaford 196-4 (McIntosh 50), Grimsby 78 (Morris 5-22); Bracebridge Heath v Hartsholme – cancelled, rain affected pitch.