In-form Sleaford CC First XI fell Woodhall Spa

Nick Goacher removed four of Woodhall Spa's top five batsmen
Nick Goacher removed four of Woodhall Spa's top five batsmen

Sleaford Cricket Club’s First XI continued their improved form by beating fourth-placed Woodhall Spa in the Lincs ECB Premier League on Saturday.

The 20-point haul consolidated their own top six position, just seven points behind fifth-placed Lindum, with three matches of the season remaining.

Batting first after winning the toss, Sleaford suffered an early blow when Thomas Shorthouse was run out without scoring.

But a partnership of 66 between Matthew Mountain and Andy Hibberd pointed the innings in the right direction.

After Mountain’s dismissal three runs short of his half-century and the early loss of Cephas Zhuwao, the visitors needed to regroup.

And they slowly regained the initiative thanks to a century partnership between Hibberd and Charlie Roberts, the latter making an important contribution of 38.

After Hibberd’s dismissal for an excellent 93, the remainder of Sleaford’s innings was dominated by Oliver Burford who gave his side real impetus.

His innings of 58 was made from only 37 balls and contained five fours and two sixes, pushing his side to 290-9 from their allotted 50 overs.

Woodhall made a strong start in pursuit of their required target and had lost only one wicket with 122 runs on the board.

The arrival of Nick Goacher into the attack changed the course of the game, however, and he claimed 4 for 39 as the home side faltered in their reply.

Spa were eventually bowled out for 218 to give Sleaford a handsome 72-run victory.

* On Saturday, Sleaford entertain Lindum in the Lincs ECB Premier, while in the South Lincs Premier, the Second XI travel to Frieston.

On Sunday, Sleaford travel to Woodhall Spa in the Lincoln Premier League, and the Academy XI, sponsored by Turnbulls, host Heighington.

Matchball sponsors are FGS Furnishings.