A five-wicket haul by James Cooper helped Lea And Roses cement top spot in the table after a run-starved match at Bawtry in Division Two of the Bassetlaw League.
Cooper, who took 5-28 in nine overs, and new-ball partner Matthew Housham (2-31 in eight overs) ripped through the home side’s top order to make them regret a decision to bat first.
Bawtry were blown away for just 64 and although Lea And Roses lost seven wickets of their own in reply, they still picked up 20 points to go 22 clear in first place with six matches to play.
Cooper was making hay almost from the off, and the hosts had little answer, with only four players making double figures, most notably opener Joe McCallum with 18.
McCallum and number three Grant Fleming (14) did guide their side to 39-2 at one stage, but once the top scorer had departed, the floodgates opened and the last eight wickets fell for the addition of only 25 runs.
The innings was polished off by Lea And Roses’ change-bowlers Andy Orton, who took 2-3 in just one over, and Tom Lane, who weighed in with the last wicket with just his third delivery.
The top dogs’ reply looked as if it would be academic, especially when openers Richard Keightley (19, three fours) and Chris Needham (11) embarked on a first-wicket stand worth 33. But once Needham had fallen to Sean Harrison (2-24 in seven overs), they made hard work of it and suffered more losses, including two to Fleming (2-2 in three overs) and a couple of run outs.
However, the inevitable winning runs finally arrived in the 20th over with Scott Woolley (10no) and skipper Lee Mardle at the crease.
THE promotion hopes of Lea And Roses 2nd were kept alive by a 54-run victory over bottom-of-the-table Woodsetts Community 2nd in Division Six of the Bassetlaw League.
Woodsetts, who have yet to taste victory this term, removed the home team for 152 after putting them in, but then crumbled to 98 all out to leave the Gainsborough outfit in third spot, well adrift of leaders Rockware but only 13 points behind second-placed Bilsthorpe, whom they play at home on Saturday, September 3.
Lea And Roses were given a flying start by Jake Hutchinson, who hit 24, while fellow opener Shaun Metcalfe went on to top score with a patient 98-ball 43 that contained only one boundary. Without Metcalfe’s application, they might have been in trouble because the rest of their batting struggled, particularly against the bowling of Iain Armitage (4-32 in 10.3 overs). Despite 27 from Jimmy Purdy and 20 from captain Mike Overson, both of whom were run out, they slid from 78-3 to 129-7 before anchorman Metcalfe was ninth out on 150.
When Woodsetts replied after tea, opening bowlers Daniel Clay (2-18 in 9.3 overs) and Zac Metcalfe (2-8 in seven overs) soon got into the swing of things, removing the two openers and reducing the visitors to 24-3.
The good work was maintained by Harry Street, who took 2-17 in nine overs, and the only time Woodsetts looked comfortable was when Andrew Lowe (29, three fours) and Armitage (12) built a sixth-wicket stand of 43 that took the total from 53 to 96. Once that had been broken by Mickey Newton (3-18 in seven overs), who later took two wickets in as many balls, Lea And Roses were back in charge. Clay returned to take the final wicket in the 43rd over.