Empingham picked up their third victory since promotion to the Grantham League’s top flight, beating Sileby by four wickets at Exton Road yesterday.
Sileby won the toss, elected to bat on a good track and, with a super-fast outfield, they looked like making a huge score when both openers piled on runs early on.
Alex Patterson (30) and Sean Dudley (60) played well for an excellent opening partnership but once David McKevitt had removed the dangerous Patterson the run rate slowed.
Rick cooper and Olly Elson then came on and started the now regular Empingham Squeeze. Both bowlers finished with three wickets as Sileby finished on 169-8 off their 40 overs.
Empingham knew that, if they batted well, they would have a great chance and they got off to an ideal start with Mark Coburn looking back to his best with a blistering 48 which included 10 fours. He was dismissed at just at the wrong for the Rutlanders and his wicket triggered a mini-collaspe with Empingham losing three wickets for just 18 runs.
However, Olly Elson (32) and Baz Sharp (60) steadied the ship and brought Empingham within sight of victory. Both fell late on but the damage had been done and Mckevitt and Joe Stafford finished the job off to give Empingham their third win of the season.
After back-to-back promotions, Empingham thought they may struggle in the top division - especially as a few sides seem to have pulled in players from around the world while Empingham recuited from local pubs and nightclubs. But so far they appear to be a match for anyone and if they can keep a settled bowling attack have a good chance of comfortably staying in the top division.
With Coburn back to form and Baz Sharp currently second in the league’s top run-scorers, Empingham are proving to be an excellent chasing side.
A Patterson c Elson b Mckevitt 30
S Dudley LBW Elson 60
S Gale b Elson 32
R Scullion c Coburn b R Cooper 3
C Preston b Elson 8
N Preston run out 2
G Smith LBW R Cooper 0
J Preston not out 14
P Dudley b R Cooper 1
H Sharman not out 2
Empingham bowling: I Sharp 5-0-23-0; B Sharp 5-2-28-0; D Mckevitt 7-0-29-1; J Jameson 3-0-16-0; R Cooper 10-3-31-3; O Elson 10-0-32-3.
O Cornish b Smith 6
M Coburn c Preston b Smith 48
B Sharp c Scullion b Gale 60
T Cooper b King 1
R Cooper b King 0
O Elson c C Preston b N Preston 34
J Stafford not out 3
D Mckevitt not out 8
Sileby bowling: G Smith 6-2-24-2; H Sharman 3-0-28-0; A Patterson 5-0-30-0; D King 5-1-21-2; P Dudley 4-0-20-0; S Gale 6-0-19-1; N Preston 5-0-20-1; S Dudley 0.5-0-5-0.