Ann Boulton rounds up this week’s action...
A six from Alex King ended Woodhall Spa’s quest for an ECB Premier League championship – and put the finishing touch to what had been a nerve-wracking game for supporters.
Twice runners-up in the league, Woodhall went into their last game of the season needing 12 points at Sleaford and looked in a strong position after bowling their opponents out for 153 in the 46th over.
This gave them 54 overs to score the runs but after a rain delay this was re-calculated to 143 runs off 49 overs.
The score had reached 41 for two when prolific run scorer Harsha Vithana came to the crease – and was out first ball, sending a frisson of worry through watching supporters.
And when the fourth wicket went down on 55, things definitely weren’t going to plan.
Joe Irving and Matt Sergeant calmed the nerves, taking the score to 84 before Irving was out, only for the next wicket to fall on the same score.
And when Sergeant was out making it 89 for seven, the championship looked a long way off.
But Ross Dixon dug in and with good support from Tom Caswell, gradually reduced the deficit until, with 10 needed for victory, Dixon was caught for 40.
This left Caswell and Alex King facing a determined Sleaford attack as they brought the score down until four were needed.
Then King launched the ball high in the air and as spectators held their breath, it landed well over the boundary and Woodhall Spa had their first league championship.
This left Bracebridge Heath, who could have taken the title if Woodhall had lost, having to settle for second place after making the day’s highest total of 285 at home to Grantham.
After losing their first wicket on nine, Brett Houston and Samansiri Hannadige put on 239 for the second, Houston hitting 110. Hannadige lost one more partner but was unbeaten on 151 when rain stopped play after 44 overs.
Bracebridge declared at this point and despite Ross Carnelley’s 60, Grantham could not match their hosts’ score, finishing on 176 for nine, Alex Moor taking four wickets.
Lindum are still in with a chance of fourth place after beating Boston who put up a better batting display than in previous weeks. Sam Holland hit 47 and shared a third wicket stand of 90 with Mihir Yousuff who went on to make 56.
And when a clatter of wickets reduced the score to 137 for seven, Paul Tetther and Tom Baxter stepped up to help Boston to their final score of 183 in the last over of the innings.
Lindum lost their first four wickets for 87 runs but Ben Rolfs joined Charlie Tomlinson in the middle and when Rolfs was out for 43, the score had reach 146 and it was left to Tomlinson with an unbeaten 62 and Will Taylor to take Lindum to victory.
Scunthorpe celebrated a good win in a high scoring game at home to Market Deeping, gaining 20 points to move clear of the bottom two.
Ian Snowden and Matt Cliffe put on 134 for the second wicket, hitting 67 and 54 respectively to help Scunthorpe to 235 for six.
Deeping in turn batted steadily, Sachithra Perera making 43 but from 186 for five, the home side bowlers go the upper hand and the final wicket fell on 210.
Results: Sleaford 153, Woodhall Spa 146-8 (overs and target reduced to 142 after rain break); Bracebridge Heath 285-3 dec (Houston 110, Hannadige 151 no), Grantham 176-9 (Carnelley 60); Boston 183 (Yousuff 56), Lindum 166-5 (overs and target reduced after rain); Scunthorpe Town (Snowden 67, M Cliffe 54), Market Deeping 210.