CRICKET: Stamford frustrated yet again

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STAMFORD Town’s 1st XI were frustrated by the weather on Saturday when their match at home to Skegness was called off just before the start, to leave them further behind the leaders, Spalding, in the South Lincolnsire and Border League Division One.

Town now trail Spalding, who beat Billingborough by five points, by 36 points.

Town’s 2nd XI travelled to Heckington on Saturday with a much-changed team but despite this they still managed to keep the pressure up at the top of Division Two with a well deserved, and hard fought, three wicket victory, pushing them on the tail of Spalding 2nds, with a game in hand still.

Stamford won the toss and bowled first, which turned out to be a good decision.

Ben Peck bowled a fine opening spell to claim 3 for 29, including three of the top four batsmen, while at the other end another top performance from reliable Richard Dytham saw him pick up 3 for 35 to leave the hosts on 35-5 at one stage.

The other two wickets were picked up by Alex Birch and Tom Dytham, both bowling excellent spells and Scott Chamberlain bowled a tidy spell to restrict the hosts to 141-7 at the interval.

With the rain closing in, Stamford went out with a positive attitude and a stable partnership from Andy Flynn (37) and Meno Besseling (17) put Stamford in a strong position, leaving Paul Long to see the visitors home. Long posted an excellent unbeaten 31, which included three fours and a six, opposite inspirational stand-in captain Jason Macbeath who ended 12 not out.

Stamford 2nd XI won with three overs to spare to claim a useful 17 points on a day when very few fixtures were completed.

STAMFORD Town’s Sunday 1st XI have dropped perilously close to the Rutland League Division One relegation trapdoor.

They posted just 98 all out after a disappointing performance wit the bat at home to Finedon and Dolben, collapsing from 73 for 2.

They claimed just two bowling points after the visitors had scored 201 for 4, from their 45 overs.

Rueful skipper Andrew Hulme reckoned the only positive to come out of the match was a good spell of bowling from Alex Birch (1 for 51) after he bowled 12 overs straight through.

The 2nd XI emerged victorious from a close contest away at picturesque Langtons, nudging home by just two wickets, after Langtons had amassed 191 for 7 with the help of several dropped catches.

Left-armer Richard Crossley was the pick of Town’s bowlers, taking two for 36, from his 12 overs. He was well supported by Bill Hall, fresh from last Sunday’s five wickets, picking up three for 51, with Freddie Cracknell in good form behind the stumps.

In reply Stamford started positively with Chris Bore racing to 24. They soon found themselves in trouble at 78 for 4 but then a fine rebuilding job from Gary Peck and Chris Birch ensued, with Peck eventually falling for 47 but 70 still required.

However Town kept the run-rate manageable as Birch, helped by Hall (12), produced his most valuable knock for many a year, hitting five fours and two sixes in a thrilling unbeaten 72 as Stamford smashed 36 off the last four overs, with Crossley driving the winning boundary through the covers, with just three balls to spare.