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Title chasing Woodhall fall short

The one game completed in a rain-hit Readers Lincolnshire ECB Premier League programme left three teams in close contention for the league title and Lindum still in with a chance of honours.

St Giles Avenue hosted the only full game and Matt Sergeant took advantage of the overcast conditions to take seven wickets for league leaders Woodhall Spa.

Lindum got off to a good start, Pierce Morley-Barnes (34) and Will Wright putting on 44 for the first wicket before Luke Smith dismissed Wright for 29 and a run out made it 50 for two.

Morley-Barnes and Karanjit Bansal restored order, taking the total to 107 before the opener also fell to Smith.

However, the next three wickets fell to Sergeant for only 22 runs and it was left to Richard Bishop to join Bansal in a stand of 33. Bansal also fell to Sergeant for 60 and the Woodhall bowler swept through the tail end as Lindum were all out for 163.

Joe Peatman then got Lindum off to an excellent start, dismissing Jonny Cheer and Prasanna Jayawardene to leave the visitors 22 for two. The middle order dug in but wickets continued to fall at regular intervals.

Sergeant contributed 28 and helped the score to 107 for seven but Peatman and Tom Lindsay struck again and at 134 for nine, Lindum looked set for victory.

But the experienced Paul Timby thought differently and with Smith batting doggedly at the other end, the total crept up until, with just four needed to reach the target, skipper Jon Miller tempted Smith into giving a catch to Bansal to give his side the slenderest of wins.

All this was being watched keenly at Sleaford where Bracebridge Heath were the visitors. By now, both sides were back in the pavilion, having managed just 45 overs before rain stopped play.

However, this was enough for Paul Cook to score an unbeaten 130 and Brett Houston 72 not out as the third placed team posted 265 for one. This gave Bracebridge five bonus points which was enough to move them in second place, just one point above their opponents.

Woodhall now lead Bracebridge by 12 points and with three games to go, Lindum are 25 points behind the leaders but just 11 adrift of Sleaford.

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