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Cricket round-up from Ancaster, Croxton and Belvoir clubs

Ancaster continued their undefeated start to the season with a thrilling one-wicket victory over Nettleham in the Lincoln and District League Premier Division on Sunday.

They had elected to field first in overcast conditions which were more suitable for bowling but Nettleham's openers, Awais Zafar and Odin Thomas, began positively.

They put up a 46-run partnership for the first wicket, however, Aled King broke through by bowling Thomas for 13.

Ancaster captain Anthony Richardson introduced himself into the attack and quickly dominated Zafar, who had scored 147 the previous day.

Richardson's fourth ball bowled with a little extra pace led to Zafar's dismissal for 26.

Nettleham's captain, Haydn Bromfield, added a resilient 25 before being caught on the boundary off Pritesh Patel's bowling.

The rest of the Nettleham batting line-up crumbled, with the exception of youngster Freddie Ward, who played a composed innings to remain unbeaten on 34, steering his team to a competitive total of 124.

Ancaster's batting form, previously lack-lustre, showed early signs of continued trouble as they found themselves 6-3.

Opener Stephen Wallace and Will Harris worked to stabilise the innings. Wallace scored 34 before falling to a delivery that stayed low.

Harris anchored the innings, counter-attacking while wickets fell around him.

As the score reached 120-6, with just five runs needed and seven overs remaining, Harris brought up his first fifty of the season, seemingly securing the game for Ancaster.

However, the situation quickly turned chaotic.

King was caught on the boundary trying to hit a six to finish the game and Patel edged behind without scoring.

Laim Probert, a competent batsman, joined Harris at the crease.

With only two runs required, Harris attempted a quick single after playing a cut shot, but was run out due to a mix-up, leaving Ancaster at 123-9.

Luke Bristow, the final batter, walked in under immense pressure and he survived a close leg before appeal on his first ball.

Tension mounted as two scoreless overs passed with Nettleham fielders putting up a stellar defence.

Eventually, Bristow managed to top-edge a loopy full toss just over the slip fielders, allowing the batsmen to scramble two runs, clinching victory by one wicket, which brought relief and joy to Ancaster, having witnessed a near-collapse.

Ancaster remain unbeaten, holding second place behind the also undefeated Sleaford. They travel to Owmby on Sunday.

They were without a game in the South Lincs and Border League on Saturday but travel to Boston 2nds this weekend.

Ancaster remain top of the table with second-placed Woodhall Spa 2nds slipping to defeat last weekend.

Croxton claimed their first victory of the season after a five-wicket away win at Buckminster in Division Two of the Grantham and Melton Association on Sunday.

On an overcast afternoon, the away side won the toss and elected to bowl.

Croxton opened with the now familiar pair of Leon Aylin and Michael Shelford, the home side with Morgan Kilburn and Tom Williamson.

Croxton soon broke though with Aylin bowling Williamson, but the ship was steadied thanks to a 30 run partnership between Kilburn and Peter Morrall before the latter became Aylin's second victim.

By now Kilburn was starting to find boundaries on a regular basis but, after reaching 22, was caught down the legside off the bowling of Joe Scott.

At drinks, the home side were 85-5, but wickets from Scott, Jim Stevenson, Michael Shelford and Marcus Thorpe-Cadman skittled the home side out for 96. The pick of the bowlers was Scott with 4-14.

In reply, the visitors lost early wickets with no batter making double figures until Morgan Heppleston was joined by Joe Scott with the pair seeing the visitors over the line in the 20th over.

Heppleston finished with 38 and Scott 11 while the pick of the Buckminster bowlers was Jake Wallace (2-16) and Jack Smith (2-22).

Grantham won the top of the table clash in Division Two after beating Thorpe Arnold by 48 runs.

Sam Lythgoe had top-scored with 54 while Toby Cullen added 42 with Sean Nel and Ram Mangineni making 30 each as Grantham were bowled out for 195.

Nel then took three wickets while Olly Rose grabbed a brace as Thorpe Arnold were dismissed for 147 in reply.

A century from Demetri Lucas led Belvoir to victory in their match on Sunday.

Belvoir second team batter Will Green. Photos: Toby Roberts
Belvoir second team batter Will Green. Photos: Toby Roberts

Lucas smashed 13 fours and four sixes in his 120 as Belvoir beat Illston Abey by six wickets in their Division One clash.

Jacob Marshall-Taylor had earlier taken 3-17 from four overs as Illston Abey were bowled out for 176.

Belvoir needed less than 30 overs to pass the target as Lucas led the from the front with Will Thornton making 24 and Tommy Bealby adding 26.

Belvoir were beaten for the first time in the South Nottinghamshire League on Saturday after a narrow two-wicket defeat.

They lost a close contest against Division A leaders Hucknall 2nds who recorded their sixth successive league victory.

Belvoir had posted 214-9 from their 50 overs after electing to bat first with Demetri Lucas (39), Tom Neville (38), Tom Lindsay (31), Lewis Dann (30) and Joe Bottomley (32) among their top scorers.

Will Thornton batting for Belvoir 2nds on Saturday.
Will Thornton batting for Belvoir 2nds on Saturday.

Lindsay and Lucas both took three wickets in the Hucknall reply but an unbeaten half-century from Joel Jordan helped the hosts to victory.

Belvoir 2nds left visiting Ruddington still looking for their first victory of the season after a 32-run win in their Division G match.

Will Thornton and Oliver Poole were the pick of the Belvoir batsmen with 42 and 44 respectively while Rowan Tyler hit a crucial 23 not out lower down the order as the hosts posted 166.

Three wicket hauls from Nikaash Dinesh (3-38) and Gus Hagger (3-23) then helped dismiss Ruddington for 134 in their reply.

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