CRICKET: Young guns on fire for Stamford

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STAMFORD Town young guns Tim Juggins and Zak Chappell put Langtons to the sword in the Rutland League on Sunday.

The 16-year-olds both blasted powerful half-centuries, albeit against nine men, as Stamford 2nds posted an imposing 304-7 from their 45 overs in their penultimate Rutland League Division Three match at Uffington Road on Sunday.

Juggins smashed 12 fours and a six in his 95, narrowly missing out on his maiden century with nerves perhaps his undoing. Chappell ran himself out for a classy 75, hitting 10 fours and three maximums, and Matt Greaves added 36, carrying on his fine debut season for Town with Alex Birch first out for 26.

The home side completed an easy 165 run victory, with Chris Birch, Richard Dytham and Alex Birch picking up two wickets each, bowling Langtons out for 139.

l TWO Stamford bowlers, at the opposite ends of their spinning careers, reached 50 wickets for the season in the previous day’s South Lincolnshire and Border League matches - Steve Armstrong, in the first team’s home win against Grantham, and Alex Birch in the Second’s disappointing reverse at Blankney.

Chris Bore with 39 was the top scorer in Stamford’s below-par 144 all out although Andy White (24) and Armstrong (17) added useful runs down the order.

Bill Hall (2 for 7) then picked up two early wickets from Grantham’s reply with Armstrong getting to work on the visitor’s middle-order and finishing with 4 for 30 from 11 probing overs. Dave Piggott (2 for 7) finished the job off as Town won by 65 runs with Grantham collapsing alarmingly in the end.

Town seconds also bowled well at Blankney dismissing their genial hosts for just 86, with their teenage bowlers all getting in on the act.

Tom Dytham (3 for 18) produced a fine opening spell to remove three of the top four, and Alex Birch (3 for 16) once again showed excellent control to reach his personal milestone with his third wicket. The improving Scott Chamberlain, with 2 for 19, and Ben Peck, removing the leg stump, with his only delivery of the afternoon, ended the innings.

However Stamford’s buoyant mood soon changed when they slumped to 26 for 6 in the face of some fine swing-bowling.

Despite 24 from skipper Chris Birch and 13 from Suneel Appan, who both proved architects of their own downfall, Town eventually fell 12 runs short with the only consolation being an almost certain, respectable second-placed finish in the league’s second tier, with only one point needed from this weekend’s closing match at home to Champions Welby.