Stamford Town enjoyed a successful weekend as the season began in earnest with three out of the four senior teams victorious.
The Saturday first team began their South Lincolnshire and Border Premier League campaign with a routine win over Moulton Harrox, overcoming the visitors by 140 runs.
Town posted a solid 225 for 9 with the runs shared between a handful of players, notably new skipper Andrew Hulme (42), Suneel Appan (34no), Neil Williams (27) and Simon Lem (20).
Bill Hall then took centre stage, returning excellent figures of 5 for 12 from ten overs, dismissing the top five Moulton batsmen. He had great support from fellow seamers Brett Bennett (3 for 32), and Appan (2
for 8) for a wholly satisfying maximum point haul at Stamford’s first attempt.
The second XI had a much narrower win, over a spirited Market Deeping 2nd XI, after restricting their hosts to just 121 for 7.
Phil Holland, having picked up the ball for the first time since last September, took 4 for 28 from ten overs on a slow pitch with skipper Chris Birch also picking up a couple of wickets after good early spells from youngsters Scott Chamberlain, Tom Dytham and Ben Peck.
Town looked to be cruising to an easy victory, moving to 73 for one, with teenager Adam Chapman hitting 28,and senior partner Darren Lynas 24 but to Deeping’s credit, and especially Ross Lowndes (5 for 19), they swung the momentum their way. Deeping engineered a Town collapse which was arrested by Steve Holland with a fine, unbeaten 28, that included five stylish boundaries, to edge Stamford home for a nervy two-wicket win.
Only Stamford’s Sunday 1st XI lost, going down to strong local rivals Bourne, in the Rutland League’s top flight.
Stamford failed to post a competitive target to cause a rampant Bourne too many problems at the Abbey Lawn.
Town did claim five wickets in an improved bowling effort from last weekend’s reverse at Eaton Socon.
Liam Davé top-scored with 48, after being involved in an unfortunate run out with fellow opener Hulme (20), but no other batsmen managed to reach 20 as Stamford slipped to 140 all out.
Bourne were tested at times, especially by Brett Bennett (3 for 20) but in the end they got home with almost a third of their overs in hand, with Carl Wilson, unbeaten on 50.
Stamford Sunday seconds were asked to bat by Yaxley at Uffington Road and were happy with their 187 for 7 total, with Bryan Bennett (30) and Tom Davies (12) getting them off to a fluent start, on a good pitch.
The ‘Golden Oldies’ then added a more than useful 99-run partnership with Gary Peck hitting seven fours and a six, in his classy 67, and Darren Lynas supporting him well, with 45. Moyle was the pick of the visitor’s bowlers with 4 for 20.
Despite Bill Hall picking up an early wicket, Stamford were suffering under a barrage of boundaries from Yaxley’s skipper Nick Cowley, and at 110 for one were staring down the barrel, until two wickets in two balls, including the dangerous Cowley for 86, turned the match on its head.
Dave Roberts proved to be the key bowler with 2 for 28 from 12 overs assisted by fellow veteran Richard
Dytham, with 2 for 3.
It was then left to young Sam Crossley, to put the icing on the cake, pulling off a direct-hit run out, from a diving throw, culminating in a 48 run win for the home side.