Highfliers too strong

Cricket.
Cricket.

Alford Cricket Club Firsts entertained highflying Grantham in the Lincolnshire ECB Premier League on Saturday, with the visitors claiming a 147-run victory.

Taking the field, Alford made early inroads into the Grantham batting, taking five wickets while the visitors had compiled only 77 runs.

It gave rise to some optimism for home fans but that soon evaporated as Daniel Freeman and James Keast took the initiative away from Alford with a match-winning sixth wicket stand of 145.

When Keast fell for 68, one of two wickets for Tom White, Grantham had moved on to 225. They went on to add a further 45 to finish on 270-6 off their allotted 50 overs.

Freeman remained unbeaten on 117, a fine knock which included 16 fours.

Steve Kirkham was the most successsful of the home bowlers, taking three wickets for 49 runs.

Sam Lempard and Lucas Kelly gave Alford a decent start with an opening partnership of 44 runs but then the Grantham attack took control of the game.

With wickets falling at regular intervals, Alford were dismissed for 123 off just 28.1 overs, with earlier centurion Freeman finishing with figures of 4-31.

Alford remain second from bottom in the table, 23 points behind Scunthorpe the side immediately above them.

Horncastle’s Jamie Lewis (6-25) tore through the Alford Second XI batting to secure victory for his side in a Lincolnshire County League Fourth Division match on Saturday.

Visitors Alford took to the field first and kept the Horncastle total to just under the 200 mark - the home side’s innings finishing on 199-9 off 45 overs.

For Alford, Aaron Wilkinson recorded figures of 3-61, while Graham Codd and Lloyd Watson each picked up a brace of wickets. Lewis Lovegrove top scored with 51 and number nine Ben Wilkinson contributed a useful 31 late in the innings.

Alford’s middle order looked reasonably solid, with Neil Calvert (37) and Graham Codd (42) top scoring, but they struggled to deal with the bowling of Lewis and his opening attack partner Ben Wilkinson (3-51). The visitors’ were bowled out for 165, 34 runs short of Horncastle’s total.

Alford’s East Lindsey Sunday XI were beaten by two wickets in a low-scoring game at Grimoldby.

Alford could muster only 95 runs off 25.5 overs, with number 10 Andrew Bluff equal top scorer on 21 not out. Bradley McGillowy also scored 21 and Ethan Codd 20.

Tom Sanders (3-15) and Sam Chatterton (3-20) were the pick of the bowlers.

Grimoldby fared no better with the bat, as none of their top five batsmen made it into double figures. Again it was a number 10, Stuart Duff (21 not out), who top scored with the bat but the key statistic of the game was the 28 extras - 18 more than Alford had in their innings - which ultimately proved to be decisive.

For Alford, Bradley McGilloway finished with figures of 3-14 and Rikki Bovey 3-11.