Market Deeping have never beaten Bracebridge Heath in over a decade of Lincs Premier Division action. They may never get a better chance.
Deeping reduced their visitors to Outgang Road to 55-6 before allowing them to escape to 150, but no matter as the home side have 11 players who know which way round to hold a bat.
And when Chris Jones and Emile Kriek steered Deeping to 71-2 a famous victory in front of a crowd swollen by a boozy vice-presidents lunch was on the cards.
But Bracebridge Heath are currently top of the table for a reason. They fought hard with the bat to give their excellent bowling attack a total to defend and two fine seamers and two decent off-spinners responded superbly to seal an 18-run win.
Even when opener Jones and South African Kriek were batting well they were never able to totally dominate. As soon as Kriek (25) opened up with two superb off-side boundaries off left-armer Brett Houston in three balls, the bowler hit back to dismiss
him in the same over.
And, while Jones punctuated sensible caution with the occasional boundary to reach 55, no-one else in the Deeping batting line-up reached double figures.
That wasn’t entirely a disgrace as Bracebridge included Matthew Carter in their side, an off-spinner who delivered the best bowling figures by a Notts debutant for over 100 years in a first-class match earlier this month when taking 7-55 against Somerset in the County Championship.
Surprisingly Carter failed to take a wicket, but his control was complemented by the pace of Houston (3-38) and Sri Lankan Himesh Silva (4-43) before 16 year-old slow bowler Andy Moor (3-5) came on to snaffle the the last three wickets, including that of Jones to a high-tariff catch by visiting captain Rob Cook.
Deeping finally conceded defeat when Lee Peacock was caught on the boundary with the score on 128. For the early part of the game that looked like being a winning score.
Seamer Tom Andrews was outstanding for Deeping bowling unchanged for 17 overs to return figures of 4-41. He often bowled to an 8-1 off-side field with four catchers in place, but his accuracy was impressive and his potency was worthy of an even greater reward.
Bracebridge dug in like champions though and a 70-run stand for the seventh wicket proved crucial.
Bracebridge lead the table by one point from Woodhall who also won yesterday. Deeping remain third a further 22 points behind.
N. John c Sargeant b Andrews 15
A. McDowell b Andrews 0
B. Houston b Brown 10
R. Cook lbw Andrews 0
V. Atri c Kriek b Andrews 17
K. Spence c Akhtar b Kriek 4
H. Bentley c Brown b Adatia 42
C. Srubbs c Akhtar b Adatia 27
M. Carter c Sargeant b Adatia 12
H. Silva b Adatia 7
A. Moor not out 0
Bowling: P. Brown 7-0-38-1; T. Andrews 17-7-41-4; E. Kriek 6-1-20-1; M. Adatia 9.3-1-34-4; A. Akhtar 5-0-16-0.
C. Jones c Cook b Moor 55
A. Wheatley c Carter b Houston 0
A. Akhtar st Carter b Houston 7
E. Kriek c Bentley b Houston 25
J. Morgan c Carter b Silva 0
D. Gillett c John b Silva 4
D. Sargeant lbw Silva 1
T. Andrews b Silva 1
M. Adatia lbw Moor 9
L. Peacock c Silva b Moor 7
P. Brown not out 0
Bowling: B. Houston 11-4-38-3; H. Silva 9-0-43-4; M. Carter 16-2-39-0; A. Moor 3.1-1-5-3
Bourne need to re-discover their best form quickly to have any chance of retaining the Premier Division title.
The champions lost at home to Louth by 86 runs yesterday to fall 25 points off top spot. It was a second successive defeat.
They allowed Louth opener Lawrence Scott too many lives as he cracked 117 of his side’s 236 and then most of the Bourne batsmen started well, but failed to kick on.
Tom Dixon top scored with 39 not out, but Bourne were dismissed 86 runs short on 151. Fast bowler Colin Cheer returned to the Bourne side after injury and claimed 4-54.
Spalding clung on for a draw in their relegation scrap at home to Grimsby thanks to late batting resistance from number 10 James Hook (21no).
Spalding took four early Grimsby wickets, but allowed their visitors to reach 199-7. Charlie Kearns (3-38) bowled well for Spalding.
Josh Newton top scored with 37 in Spalding’s 148-9. Spalding remain bottom of the table.
BOURNE lost to LOUTH by 86 runs
Louth 236 (L. Scott 117, C. Cheer 4-54, B. Stroud 2-23).
Bourne 151 (T. Dixon 39no, C. Louth 21, B. Stroud 20, A. Carrington 5-43).
SPALDING drew with GRIMSBY
Grimsby 199-7 (L. Charlton 62no, C. Kearns 3-38, H. Charlton 2-43).
Spalding 148-9 (J. Newton 37, D. Milgate 24, J. Hook 21no, C. Hawkins 4-32).