There was only 7 runs shy of a 1000 runs scored at London Road across the weekend plus two trips to National Trust owned land!
At London Road on Saturday, Sleaford entertained Boston on a warm, sunny day. Tom Shorthouse won a crucial toss on a very flat looking wicket and elected to bat. Openers Shorthouse and Patel good off to a steady start with Patel looking the more fluent. There was a crucial moment when Patrick Turner found the edge of Tom Shorthouse’s bat only for keeper Tom Poole to spill a crucial chance with the skipper only on 6 at time. The score proceeded nicely onto 41 before Patel hit a low full toss to Jonny Cheer for 26. Willoughby and Shorthouse came together to build a new partnership with success as the two started to put the Boston bowlers to the sword. Both registered half centuries in good time as Sleaford looked to push on. Shorthouse took the initiative and brought his century up in good time hitting 15 boundaries, however he soon departed finding Jonny Cheer on the edge of the ring off the bowling of Baxter for a well made 106. The partnership with Willoughby amassed 169 runs for Sleaford in hunt of big total. Evan Jones looked in attacking mode with he and Willoughby putting on 41 before Willoughby departed caught by Tim Bell off Tom Baxter for 81 off 87 balls. Oliver Burford (4) came and went before Jones and Andy Hibberd put on 31 before the latter fell caught and bowled to Baxter for 8. Jones powerful stay at the crease included 6 x 6’s in a 48 ball stay for 98 runs before he was run out going for 2 in the last over. Matt Wing finished 9 not out. 349-6 was going to a tough chase for Boston.
The reply started in similar fashion as Tom Poole and Matt Poole found the Sleaford pace bowling easy going. The introduction of spin allowed Sleaford to break the partnership on 50 when Matt Poole was adjudged LBW to Shorthouse. With the brakes slammed on by Shorthouse and Willoughby, wickets started to tumble despite a good 50 from Tom Poole. Shorthouse had Poole, Cheer and Gilbert all caught and bowled and Willoughby removed Yousuff cheaply. Joe Peck picked up a couple of scalps both caught behind from Wing. Boston never really looked interested in the chase and were eventually dismissed for 163 in the 43rd over. 7 of the wickets fell to the spin of Willoughby (3-32) and Shorthouse (4-33). Joe Peck returned figures of 2-18 and Cameron 1-36. A good 20 points heading into the Grantham game this Saturday.
At Belton Park, Dan Hutson lost the toss and Sleaford were asked to bat. Mason Mansfield (26) and Sam Burrows (26) gave the visitors a strong start but wickets for Rohan Perera pegged Sleaford back. Runs for Ben Glendinning (35) and Ben Lambert (46) helped Sleaford post 215-9 from their 45 overs.
In reply Belton Park offered little resistance except for a well compiled innings from William Helliwell who hit 39. No other batsman was able to get into double figures. Wickets were shared between Rhys Collings (2-24), Sir James Bowlby (2-25), Giles Goddard (3-9) and Mason Mansfield (1-9).
The runs continued at London Road on Sunday as Sleaford hosted Nocton. A huge partnership by Simon Godby and Thomas Willoughby allowed Sleaford to post an imposing 265 from 40 overs. Both batsman went on to score centuries. In reply, Nocton got off to a bad start with wickets for Drew Harbron and Willoughby. However, Dylan Garfoot was in fine form hitting the ball to all parts of the ground. He was ably supported by James Zealand and together looked to give Nocton hope. Hibberd (2-64) dismissed Zealand and Pullum first ball but Shaun Brown and Garfoot continued with the flowing runs. Garfoot went onto register a fine century until he mistimed one and was caught at cover by Hibberd off Patel (1-46) for 119. Harbron (3-43) and Willoughby (3-19) returned to secure the last two wickets and leave Brown stranded on 40 not out. Nocton were dismissed for 216 to give Sleaford a 49 run victory.
Back at Belton Park, Sleaford were once again asked to bat first. This time, the visitors amassed 259-8 with run for Tom Chapman (43), Neill Henderson (92), Will Glendinning (40) and Tom Sanders (31). In reply Belton were dismissed for 88 with wickets for Ian Shorthouse (2-23), Ian Glendinning (1-10), Nick Mountain (4-14) and Sam Lambert (3-22).