Sleaford CC batsman put Louth to the sword

Skipper Tom Shorthouse has three fifties and a century this season EMN-180907-124634002
Skipper Tom Shorthouse has three fifties and a century this season EMN-180907-124634002

Sleaford CC First XI warmed up their pivotal trip to Lincs ECB Premier Division leaders Bracebridge Heath with their fourth straight win on Saturday.

They defeated Louth by 76 runs in a high-scoring game at London Road to earn 18 points and stay in third, 28 behind Heath.

Having won the toss and put Sleaford in, Louth made an early breakthrough when Ross Diver was bowled by Seb Darke for 0.

Andy Hibberd (8) was then caught off Josh Court to leave the hosts 23-2, but then came the match-winning stand.

Charlie Roberts joined his captain Tom Shorthouse as they began to stabilise the innings, with both running well and putting away stray deliveries.

As Louth began to toil in the heat, Shorthouse and Roberts both passed 50 as they confidently moved the score past 150, with both now in total control.

The runs continued to flow until Roberts was caught off Court (3 for 90) for a superb 100, a maiden Lincs ECB century which included 12 fours.

Shorthouse reached his century as Sleaford went past 250, and after McPeake went for one, Olly Burford offered support with a well-paced 33.

In the meantime Shorthouse reached a magnificent 150 as the Firsts, sponsored by Baker Plant Hire, went past 300.

The captain finally fell to Darke (4 for 72) for a superb 152, including 14 fours and two sixes before Sleaford completed their 50 overs on 330-8.

In reply, Louth started solidly, with Laurence Scott and Paul Martin putting on 41 before Martin (26) was caught by Youles off Cameron Hall (3 for 48).

Scott (13) soon followed, caught behind by Burford off McPeake (2 for 36), before Xander Pitchers fell to Youles and Darke was caught Burford off McPeake as Louth slid to 64-4.

Richard Bell and Jason Collinson set about providing a base for the run chase, with Bell going past 50 as the score reached 188 before he was finally out for a fine 62.

Collinson was caught and bowled Adi Sreedharan for a very good 45, and Matthew Hamilton (48 not out) continued to attack, but could not find the support to challenge the Sleaford total as Louth closed on a respectable 254-8.

Sleaford CC would like to thank umpires Andrew Milne and Stuart Vickers, and scorers Linda Cuthbert and Ian Shorthouse as well as the tea ladies