Sharp and Cooper lead the Empingham rally

Empingham extended their encouraging start to the Grantham League season with a victory at Pickwell on Sunday.

Pickwell batted first and Matt Denny took a brilliant catch from the first ball of the second over to dismiss the home team’s overseas opener.

But Pickwell then scored quickly and freely as their top order utilised the conditions well before Empingham turned the screw.

The Sharp brothers rolled back the years to bowl in tandem with Baz taking four wickets - which would have been five if it were not for Adam Ireland’s dropped catch.

On his return to the side, Danny O’Kane bowled well, thanks in no small part to the speed of Mark Coburn who took three stumpings in total,
two off O’Kane’s bowling.

The home side finished on 173 for 8 and Empingham lost early wickets in their reply.

However, a fine stand between Baz Sharp (69no) and Richard Cooper (44) saw the visitors get within striking distance, and fine contributions from Tom Cooper and O’Kane, the latter rifling off a series of quick boundaries, took Empingham past the hosts’ total.