Sleaford CC First XI suffered a disappointing end to their 2019 season when they were skittled for 79 in the play-off semi-finals.
Having finished fourth in the Lincs ECB Premier, the Firsts, sponsored by Baker Plant Hire, faced a tough trip to champions Woodhall Spa in the end-of-season play-offs.
Inviting Woodhall to bat first, the much-changed Sleaford team started well, but Oliver Casswell (35), Henry Wilson (31), Jack Hughes (30) and Matthew Sargeant’s well-compiled 56, held the innings together.
Woodhall posted 241-9 from their 50 overs despite four wickets from Drew Harbron and three from Angus Youles.
Sleaford made a positive start to their reply, with Conor Harbron and Simons Godby making 15 each.
Matthew Wing (15) and Dan Hutson (14) continued to resist Woodhall, but the depth of the Woodhall bowling came through.
Tom Casswell claimed three wickets, supported by two apiece from Alex King, Harsha Vithana and Ross Dixon as Sleaford were bowled out for 79 in the 29th over.
In the final, at Grantham CC this weekend, Woodhall will face Bracebridge who racked up a staggering record total of 526-3 in defeating Bourne by a massive 365 runs.
* Sleaford CC Third XI hosted Long Sutton on Saturday at London Road and batted first.
They accumulated well with opener Jacob Cavenay making 41, and Ben Lamber adding 31 in the middle order, but it was Giles Goddard’s 50 not out at number 10 which allowed Sleaford to reach a challenging 194.
In reply, Long Sutton found it hard to get a foothold, with Ben Lambert (4 for 7) and Max Lorimer (4 for 24) taking control.
Only an innings of 53 by Ben Crisp defied them as Long Sutton were bowled out in the 27th over for 117 to complete a 77-run win for the hosts.
* On Sunday, Sleaford CC Second XI, sponsored by Turnbulls, defeated Woodhall Spa by 77 runs.
But the victory could not prevent relegation for this young team or stop Woodhall winning the title.
The Sleaford team has competed well over the season and will benefit from dropping down a league as these young players continue to develop in the longer form of the game. Prospects look very bright.