Sleaford first XI, sponsored by Baker Plant Hire, began their ECB Premier League campaign with a comfortable seven wicket victory against Louth at London Road, whilst the South Lincs and Border League team, sponsored by Darren Wilson, went down to a disappointing defeat at Long Sutton.
Bowling first after winning the toss, Sleaford soon had their visitors in disarray as captain Shaun Morris struck three times in a six over spell to hand the initiative to the home side, which they went on to fully exploit.
With seam bowlers Obus Pienaar, Nick Goacher and Cameron Hall all picking up wickets, Louth never threatened any real recovery and their innings was brought to a swift conclusion when Thomas Shorthouse claimed three victims as the innings subsided to 78 all out in less than 32 overs.
Sleaford’s reply was comfortable enough, anchored by new South African professional Pienaar, and Sleaford’s innings was only in the 21st over when victory was achieved by a seven wicket margin.
At Long Sutton, Sleaford looked to be heading for victory for the majority of the game until the home side staged a dramatic last gap stand to force an unlikely win.
Batting first, Sleaford were indebted to Ben Lambert’s innings of 48 in a total of only 128, but when the home side collapsed to 59-8, thanks largely to the wicket taking of Sumit Puri and Kieran Harbron, the visitors seemed assured of an unlikely victory.
Some resourceful batting by Burton and Simpson was to turn the game on its head, however, and Long Sutton somehow secured a two wicket victory.
This weekend, Sleaford travel to Grantham in the ECB Premier League on Saturday, whilst the reverse fixture takes place at Sleaford. On Sunday, Sleaford Academy, sponsored by Turnbulls, entertain Owmby in their first fixture of the season. The home matches start at 1pm and 2pm respectively and all spectators are welcome.