Fourth straight win lifts Empingham to second

Freddie Turner bowling for Empingham'Photo: Geoff Atton
Freddie Turner bowling for Empingham'Photo: Geoff Atton

A four wicket haul for Olly Elson and half-centuries for Freddie Turner and Baz Sharp guided Empingham to their fourth straight league victory.

The Exton Road Army beat Kinoulton by five wickets to move up to second in the Grantham League’s.

Empingham lost the toss and were forced to field first on what looked a fine batting wicket and their visitors made a good start on a fast outfield.

Freddie Turner picked up the first wicket, halting the early assault and then claiming a second with a caught and bowled.

However, Kinoulton’s other opener, Thomas Richard, stayed put, hitting any loose deliveries to the boundary and at drinks the innings was tightly poised with the visitors at 100 for 2 off 20 overs.

Empingham knew they needed to take wickets and break the partnership,and Elson and Dave Mckevitt upped the pressure until Elson broke the partnership.

Soon after, Matt Denny took a catch off the bowling of Mckevitt but Richards remaine, forming the backbone of the innings with 83 before Wil Thraves caught him off the bowling of Elson.

Elson and Sharp rounded off the innings with Sharp takng 2 for 27 and Elson 4 for 32 as Kinoulton reached 209 for 9 - a reasonable target after Empingham had looked like they could face a much tougher chase earlier in the afternoon.

In reply, Tom Cooper opened the batting with Turner. Despite early promise Cooper was dismissed by Kinoulton’s pacey opener for 7, but this brought the league’s highest run-scorer in the league Baz Sharp to the crease.

Sharp soon began blazing away. He and Turner saw off the opening bowlers and were up with the required run rate.

The pair rotated the strike with alert calling aided by some inept fielding as 
Empingham reached 103-1 off the first 20.

Sharp brought up another fine 50, in what has been a superb season, but was then dismissed in the same over, 1 short of the 100 partnership.

This brought Elson to the crease, who riled up the opposition in his brief stay, with a controversial not out decision, followed by a sumptuous straight drive.

He was,however, removed for 9 and Denny joined Turner at a crucial point in the chase.

Turner, who was dogged if not fluent, nurdled his way past 50 and another important partnership was built. Denny began piercing the ball through the field and the two ran magnificently between the crease with a number of cheeky singles.

A couple of big blows from Turner off Kinoulton’s spin bowling brought Empingham to within 10 runs of their target with four overs remaining when a mix up led to him being run out for 80. Denny was bowled straight after for 33 but Mckevitt and Adam Ireland saw the side to a brilliant win.

Afterwards Turner said: “Ten league wins by the end of July is a remarkable return considering back-to-back promotions had left us fearful of a jump in standard.”