CRICKET: Sleaford overcome early collapse to take maximum points

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Sleaford first XI overcame an early batting collapse to register maximum points against Grimsby on Saturday and thereby consolidated their third place position in the Lincs ECB Premier League.

Bowling first after winning the toss, Sleaford, sponsored by Wright Vigar, made gradual inroads into their opponents’ batting line-up as a series of batsmen established themselves without going on to make a significant score. Nick Goacher claimed two of the first three wickets to fall and, after Angus Youles struck twice during his spell, the Grimsby innings subsided as Thomas Shorthouse and Cameron Hall claimed the last five wickets between them.

A victory target of 132 appeared comfortable enough but, not for the first time this season, Sleaford’s strong looking batting unit disintegrated as the innings subsided to 26 for the loss of five wickets. Skipper Oliver Burford threatened a recovery before being dismissed for 28 and with the score at 58-6, the visitors were undoubtedly in the ascendancy.

Thereafter, Sleaford were indebted to an excellent partnership between Kurt Colyn and Shaun Morris which stabilised their team’s innings and gradually wrested the initiative away from their opponents.

The pair added 48 runs for the seventh wicket before Colyn fell for an extremely valuable 32, and thereafter Morris supervised the remainder of the run chase to finish undefeated on 35 as his side recorded a three-wicket victory.

In the South Lincs and Border Premier League, Sleaford travelled to Billingborough and recorded a victory which moved them up to second place behind Boston, who look assured of the title.

Batting first after losing the toss, Sleaford posted a creditable total of 199 from their allotted overs, with Sumit Puri making an undefeated 76. Valuable support came from Ben Bulmer, David Harrop and Phil Sneath, and Sleaford’s score represented a useful total in damp conditions.

Billingborough’s reply never threatened Sleaford’s total and, as an excellent display of fielding and catching supported the bowlers, wickets fell on a regular basis, Giles Goddard and Kieron Harbron both claiming three wickets as their side eased to a 96-run victory.

This weekend Sleaford first XI travel to Woodhall Spa on Saturday with the reverse fixture taking place at Sleaford. On Sunday, the first XI, sponsored by Specsavers, travel to Morton whilst The Academy, sponsored by Turnbulls, travel to Woodhall. On Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, Lincolnshire entertain Hertfordshire in a development fixture at London Road, and spectators are welcome on all three days.