Lindum defeat Grantham in Lincs ECB play-off final

Ann Boulton reports on the Wilkinson Family Trophy final...

Pothula collects his Man of the Match champagne from umpires Nick Law and Paul Goodhand.

The battle to become the top team in the Lincolnshire ECB Premier League came to a head at Bourne, where the Wilkinson Trophy play-off final saw Division North winners Lindum take on Grantham, who finished top of Division South.

Both teams finished the season unbeaten with Lindum’s Will Wright topping the batting averages and Mark Footitt of Grantham taking the bowling honours.

Having won the toss, Grantham invited Lindum to bat and it was Wright and Piers Morley-Barnes who went out to open.

But in the second over, Dan Freeman sent Morley-Barnes back to the pavilion for five.

Aaron Onyon came the crease and immediately got the scoreboard moving and by the end of that over, Lindum had 14 on the board.

With Wright playing an unfamiliar supporting role, Onyon built on his good start and by the end of the sixth over, the Lincoln side had 37 on the board.

The 50 came up in the 10th over and by the end of the 14 th it was 69 for one.

In the 16th over, Onyon celebrated his half century, which came off 44 balls, but Freeman struck again to dismiss Wright and when Onyon became his third victim for 51, Grantham began to gain the upper hand.

Carl Stubbs had three to his name when he fell to a catch off Mason Hilldrith and with the score on 113, Hilldrith took the valuable scalp of Lindum skipper Rob Cook.

Tom Lindsay and Will Taylor dug in and when Taylor was run out for 17, Lindsay batted on to make 24. With eight wickets down, Lindum had 155 on the board with five overs remaining and Pranav Pothula and Ted Horner-Timmins – a late replacement for the injured James Kimber – made good use of these, adding an unbeaten 22, Pothula finishing on 28.

With Grantham chasing 177 off 40 overs, Onyon and Wright opened the bowling and immediately made life difficult for the opposition batsmen, Onyon bowling a maiden first over and Wright conceding just one run and taking the wicket of Jaden Fell.

Onyon bowled another maiden and after six overs Grantham had only 11 in the board.

After 10 overs this had risen to 37 with Ross Carnelley and Ben Coddington looking settled but in the 13 over Carnelley was caught off Pothula for 30.

Cook then dismissed Freeman and Grantham were 63 for three and when Cook took his second to make it 70 for four and Joe Peatman took his first on 73, the game was swinging back towards Lindum.

Coddington went for 35 with the score on 87 and Peatman’s third wicket made it 94 for eight.

But James Dobson and Curtis Free mounted a determined rearguard action, bringing the hundred up and reducing the run rate to below five an over.

However, Pothula was back in the attack and bowled Dobson for 22 and a catch from Will Taylor gave Lindum victory as Grantham were all out for 131.

Pothula’s innings and two wickets earned him the Man of the Match award and a bottle of champagne donated by the Lincolnshire Cricket Board.