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Bracebridge pile on runs for draw

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Readers Lincolnshire leaders Bracebridge Heath scored more than 300 yet still could not complete a victory over Louth.

At Todmoor, Louth won the toss and having invited the league leaders to bat, could only watch as Mark Fell and Nick John put on 111 for the first wicket.

Fell was first to go, caught behind off Jon Darke for 44 but this only increased the Bracebridge run rate as Brett Houston joined John in a partnership of 119.

Houston also fell to Darke for 43 and the young Louth bowler then added John to his list of victims, bowling the opener for 133 which came off 139 balls with 17 fours and one six.

By now, Bracebridge were 247 for three but the batsmen still weren’t finished, Paul Cook hitting 58 off 22 balls with seven fours and three sixes.

The 50 overs closed on 314 for five and Darke came out to open the Louth innings with Nuwan Shiroman, only to fall to Stuart Airey with 27 on the board. Shiroman followed, caught behind off Tom Khoza with only five runs added and Khoza took the next to leave the home side on 32 for three.

Arran Brindle and Graham West had pushed the total along to 84 before Brindle also fell to Khoza but West was now well settled at the crease and he and Jason Collinson took the score to 189 and the innings into the final over during which West was caught off Airey for 93, leaving Collinson 39 not out and giving Louth a share of the points.

The closest game of the day was at Bourne where Nettleham slipped from second to third in the table after failing by just seven runs to reach the home side’s total of 204.

Ben Stroud again anchored the Bourne innings after Nettleham had taken two early wickets.

Stroud and Chris Dring (32) steadied the ship, Stroud making 72 and Owen Smith also contributed 21.

For Nettleham, Will Carter claimed 5-57 off 17 overs but the visitors also gifted Bourne a crucial 37 extras.

In reply, nine Nettleham players reached double figures but the highest total was 27 from Rob Cook as the visitors struggled to contain the bowling of Cliff Spinks and Dring.

However, with nine wickets down, five of them falling to Spinks – four of which were clean bowled - Craig Cosgrove and Paul Cook dug in, Cosgrove unbeaten on 25 and Cook on 11 as the overs ran out on 197 for nine.

Skegness may be new to the Readers Lincolnshire ECB Premier League but they are proving to be the team of the moment, moving into second place in the table after a high scoring run chase at Messingham who set Skegness what, in most cases, would have been a winning total of 245 before their final wicket fell, Jason Scheepers making 61.

But the newcomers are full of confidence following their successful start to their Premier League campaign and the Scunthorpe side succumbed to a five wicket defeat, Nathan Docker hitting 100 in the Skegness reply.

At the bottom of the table, Caistor showed some return to form to hold on for a winning draw against Market Deeping but with Sleaford continued their good run of results – and their climb up the Readers Lincolnshire ECB Premier League table – the Brigg Road outfit remain rooted in the relegation zone, just above Messingham.

Caistor eyes would have been set on victory when, having invited Market Deeping to bat, they restricted the visitors to 193 all out. Ryan Farrow struck with just two on the board but by the time Sahan Wijerathne took the second the Deeping total had reached 70.

Charlie Kearns and David Gillett shared a stand of 71 off the next 17 overs before Gillett was caught off Nick Warmoth and Kearns then lost another three partners for the addition of only 16 runs before falling to a stumping off Wijerathne for 86 with the score on 172.

Warmoth went on to take 5-70 off 16 overs as Deeping were all out with five balls of the innings to spare.

Kearns then joined brother Michael to open the attack and a wicket for each in their opening overs left Caistor two for two and brought James Parker and Peter Briggs together at the crease far earlier than expected!

However, this partnership realized 91 runs before Briggs fell for 31 and after the fourth wicket fell on 102, Parker received good support from Nick Dobbs and later from Liam Wood to push the score along.

But with wickets falling at regular intervals, Caistor fell behind the run rate and at the close were still 26 short on 171 for eight, Parker unbeaten on 89.

Sleaford scored a convincing eight wicket win over Lindum after the Lincoln side set them a target of 197.

Despite Karanjit Bansal’s opening 48, the Lindum batsmen found it hard to build sizeable partnerships, Alex Hornsby and Bansal sharing the highest with 39 for the third wicket.

Hornsby top scored with 59 before becoming one of wicketkeeper Oliver Burford’s three victims and a late unbeaten 27 from skipper Matt Rutherford took Lindum to the close with eight wickets down.

Sleaford had 53 on the board when Bansal took the first wicket but Burford and Dammika Gunawardena added 132 before Burford also fell to Bansal for 85, leaving Gunawardena to take Sleaford to victory, the Sri Lankan hitting 77 off 77 balls with a four and six in successive balls to finish the game off.

Grimsby moved back into the top half of the table with a last over victory at home to Woodhall Spa who had 151 on the board before their first wicket fell - Andrew Crook, lbw Gihan Perera for 9.

In the next over, Michael Brown dismissed Warren Nel for 53, after which the run rate – which at one stage promised to top 300 off the 50 overs - fell and at the close the visitors had reached 220 for nine, Brown with five for 46 and Perera taking three wickets.

Richard Ancliffe and Scott Harneiss got Grimsby off to a good start with a stand of 72 but it was the third wicket stand of 106 between Neal Snell (42) and Perera (76) that took the home side in sight of a six wicket victory with Lewis Tillison and Brown guiding their side home with five balls to spare.