CRICKET: Empingham open with a maximum

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EMPINGHAM returned to action with an opening day win to launch their 2012 Grantham League cricket campaign.

The Rutlanders took a maximum 20 points against Belton Park as they began life in division two, following last summer’s promotion.

Graham Cooper (45) and Freddie Turner (33) laid the foundations with a 90 run opening partnership on what was becoming a wet track.

This put the home team in good shape, with the more flamboyant stroke makers to come down the order. Indeed as both batsman perished, birthday boy Mark Coburn, who turned 40 on Sunday, made 22, and Baz Sharp made 31 to increase the run rate.

However, the star man was Andy Larkin who hit a destructive 50 in next to no time, remaining unbeaten on 81 at the close.

Empingham took to the field defending a vast total of 236. Freddie Turner picked up four wickets in his first seven overs, leaving Belton 50 for 4 early on.

Stuart Naylor bowled well to turn up the pressure before the final Empingham squeeze was put into full force, with spin wizards Dan O’Kane 2 for 30 and Andy Larkin 4 for 24 keeping it tight as Belton were bowled out for 138.

l Any players interested in playing for Empingham Cricket Club should call skipper Tom Cooper on 07590 481493.