STAMFORD Town’s Saturday 1st XI got off to a perfect start in their South Lincolnshire and Border League Division One campaign.
Town picked up maximum points with a comfortable eight-wicket win at Grantham, while avoiding the worst of the inclement weather that knocked out Market Deeping 2nd XI’s opening South Lincs fixture against Spalding.
Town reduced Grantham to 0 for 2, after having no hesitation in bowling first with Michael Jones and Bill Hall getting off to a flier. Both took out an opener in their first over of the new season.
The impressive Jones struck again soon after and eventually finished the innings off, taking 3 for 11, while fellow opener Hall claimed figures of 2 for 16 from nine overs.
The home side did rally mid-innings with captain Gareth Bennett batting sensibly for an unbeaten 49.
Fifteen-year-old Alex Birch picked up his first wickets at his level, bowling with impressive control to finish with 3 for 25 from 10 overs.
Andy White offered excellent support with 2 for 28 on his return to the club, as the home side limped onto 115 all out with some very well judged catches from Town’s fielders.
With rain and hail threatening, Stamford decided to push their reply on quickly and captain for the day Andrew Hulme and Bryan Bennett both looked in good touch, both making 37, hitting seven and five fours respectively. With the game almost won, Simon Prentice struck a fluent, unbeaten 32, with five boundaries, to bring an early conclusion to the match, inside 24 overs.