Cricket - Haxey 168 for 7, Skegness 169 for 3

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A fourth wicket unbroken stand of 121 between Ricky Lovelace and Norman Brackley saw Skegness back to winning ways in the ECB Premier League against champions Haxey.

It completed a league double over Haxey, who lost by 97 runs to the seasiders in May, and consolidated Skegness’s sixth place in the league table.

The win was set up by the bowlers, restricting the visitors to 168 from their 50 overs after Haxey had won the toss and chosen to bat first.

Sean Williams, with two wickets in his eighth and final over, was the pick of the bunch, although he was aided by the ever alert Pete Houghton behind the stumps.

Dan Milgate and Saeed Bariwala both bowled the maximum 17 overs and Tom Cuthbert chipped in with a wicket, while conceding only 18 runs from his eight overs.

South African Joshua Savage was the pick of the Haxey bowlers, bowling five maidens in his 17 overs and hampered by a number of dropped catches as Skegness rode their luck.

Despite a stuttering start, the home side finally crossed the line with 12 overs to spare.

Skegness made early inroads into the Haxey defences and the visitors were struggling on 70 for five before a sixth wicket stand of 85 between Savage and Thomas Wraith restored some respectability to their score.

That said, the total of 168 was considered easily gettable.

The seasiders’ response got off to a nervous start and they found themselves in trouble on 48 for three following the departure of Bariwala, Jamie Epton and Houghton.

This brought Brackley and Lovelace together in the 13th over and they carefully crafted a match-winning partnership.

Particularly encouraging for the seasiders was the fact that Lovelace was rewarded for his hard work with time spent in the middle.

He batted through the Skegness innings and faced 117 balls, scoring six fours en route to his 58 not out.

Brackley’s run-a-ball innings included a straight six over the head of the bowler, Haxey skipper Mark Atkins. In fact 50 of his runs came in boundaries (11 fours and a six).

The win was eventually secured amid something of an anti-climax when, with the scores level, Dominic Bishop bowled a wide.

On Saturday Skegness are at home again when Spalding are the visitors to Richmond Drive.

It will be an opportunity for the seasiders to avenge a losing draw inflicted by newly promoted Spalding earlier in the season.

Haxey - O Tonks b Bariwala 33; A Hooper ct Houghton b Williams 3; I Ahmed ct Houghton b Cuthbert 5; D Bishop b Milgate 6; G Attenborough ct & b Milgate 16; T Wraith ct Houghton b Williams 45; J Savage not out 32; F Stevens ct Houghton b Williams 0; S Ahmed

not out 10; E Tonks did not bat. M Atkins did not bat.

Extras - 18. Total (for 7 wkts) 168.

Bowling - S Williams 8-1-29-3; T Cuthbert 8-1-18-1; D Milgate 17-6-47-2; S Bariwala 17-5-67-1.

Skegness - S Bariwala b Savage 7; R Lovelace not out 58; J Epton b Stevens 1; P Houghton

ct Hooper b Savage 20; N Brackley not out 68; P Butler) D Milgate) S Williams) did not bat.

S Chamberlain) T Cuthbert) M Forman).

Extras 18 Total (for 3 wkts) 169.

Bowling - J Savage 17-5-56-2; F Stevens 13-1-56-1; M Atkins 5-0-45-0; D Bishop 2.3-0-10-0.