Last Sunday, July 31st, Bracebridge Heath second eleven had to concede against Nocton as they were unable to get a team together. This gave us an easy 20 points maximum for a “victory” but it was a pity to miss a match as the Bracebridge ground is beautiful and it was a lovely afternoon. How do I know all this? I was the only one to turn up, armed with my camera and wondering why it was so quiet as I drove to the ground!! I hadn’t realised the game was off! Never mind, it gives me a chance to keep you posted on our progress so far.
With just 5 games to play in Division 3 this season Nocton are lying in second place with 128 points. We have played 9, won 5, lost just 2 with one game cancelled because of the weather and one game (Bracebridge) where the opposition had to concede. Our nearest rivals, Bassingham and Horncastle, each have 79 points so they are some way adrift. Top of the heap this season are Ancaster with the maximum possible 180 points from their 9 games. They would appear to be unstoppable. We certainly couldn’t stop them! In one recent game they bowled us out for 8, the club’s lowest total ever and the second lowest in the history of the league! On the flip side we gave them a run for their money when they lost 6 wickets chasing a low total we had set of just 100 AND we are the only team to hit more than 140 against them this season – even though we lost. I wondered why we hadn’t come across these Ancaster “giants” before and got a bit of history from Richard Free. It seems Ancaster used to play in the South Lincs and Borders League where the standard of cricket is on the high side of phenomenal. They transferred to the Sills and Betteridge League where we play and had to join in Division 4 at the bottom. In 2015 they swept all before them and were promoted to (our) Division 3 … where they are busily sweeping all before them again! If their present form, and our own, continues in this way we will be promoted to Division 2 … and so will they. Every silver lining has a cloud, eh?
Back to Nocton’s players. I have mentioned the new team spirit this season which is great to see, with all players really encouraging one another, even when things don’t go so well. We have several new players this season and some old ones returning with everyone playing their part. Fielding is much sharper this year and there have been a number of run outs which would have looked pretty impressive on TV. Skipper Dylan Garfoot is top scorer this year with 259 runs so far at an average of 28. Kyle Thompson has 165 to his name with Mikey Atkinson close behind with 127. Rob Appleyard is our leading bowler with 21 wickets at just 7.38 each. Dylan has 14 this season at 14 runs each and Mikey has 12 at 13.75 apiece.
We have two more home games this season. We host Aisthorpe this coming Sunday and our last match of the season is home to Rustons. You would be very welcome to join us at either of these games both the watch some village cricket and share tea and cake at “half time”, maybe eating at the new picnic bench bought for us through the Parish Council from Louth Interskills, a not-for-profit company which employs county people with learning disabilities.
Report and photographs courtesy of Jonathan Sides
|Plate 1 - leading run scorer Dylan Garfoot|
|Plate 2 - Kyle Thompson has hit 165 runs so far|
|Plate 3 - All rounder Mikey Atkinson|
|Plate 4 - leading wicket taker Rob Appleyard,|
back with the club this season
|Plate 5 - Dylan in bowling mode|
|Plate 6 - one of Mikey’s 12 wickets so far|