Grantham and Melton Cricket: Walkover edges champions Queniborough closer

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Queniborough moved a step closer to defending their Grantham and Melton Cricket Association crown on Sunday when chief rivals were forced to concede their fixture.

The walkover saw Hinckley deducted 10 points, putting Queniborough a huge 50 points clear at the top of the Premier Division.

The result of Queniborough’s own fixture at bottom side Billesdon was yet to be confirmed at the time of going to press.

Elsewhere in the division, Ashby Carington’s hope of avoiding the drop were boosted with an excellent win at Egerton Park.

Second-bottom Carington lost the toss, and Park racked up a good total of 239-6 from their 40 overs.

But the visitors chased down the target with four wickets and three overs to spare.

* In Division One, in-form Thorpe Arnold sealed their eighth straight win to consolidate their top three position.

After winning the toss and batting first, Thorpe racked up 225-5 thanks to an unbeaten 67 from Dom Exton and a quickfire 65 from Chris Waldron who completed his second half-century of the weekend.

Lewis Perry chipped in with 35 not out and then struck early with the ball in Rothley Park’s reply, removing both openers on his way to excellent figures of 2 for 9 from eight overs.

Joe Anderson also took a couple of cheap early wickets, and the momentum was maintained by Jordan Hirst (3 for 14) and Richard Garner (2 for 16) as Rothley were bundled out for just 77.

But Thorpe still remain some distance behind the top two after British Shoe Corporation and Empingham also racked up big wins.

IN he bottom half of the table, Barkby United beat Syston in a close-fought derby.

Keelan Draycott (41) top scored in Barkby’s 223 all out which also featured good contributions from John Pook (33), James Kirk (33) and Jack Wood (30), with Ayaan Pathan (4 for 31) and Ben Tebbutt (3 for 35) leading the Syston attack.

In reply Ken Eales (4 for 43) knocked over the top three cheaply, as Syston’s reply struggled to get going.

Falling behind the rate, George Corbett almost pulled off a dramatic fightback with a 63-ball knock of 96 including 17 fours and a six before he became Eales’ fourth victim.

But the visitors closed 30 short on 193-7.

* Bottesford slipped to a narrow defeat at leaders Grantham in the Division Two top-of-the-table clash.

After winning the toss, Bottesford struggled to accelerate the scoring and made 173-9 thanks largely to Alfie Morley (33) and skipper Daniel Barratt (30).

Aaron Charlesworth and Barratt made early inroads as Grantham replied, before Simon Silverwood and Ryan Charlesworth knocked over the middle order cheaply.

But Matthew Dowman stood alone as his unbeaten 87 helped Grantham to the winning post to seal an edgy two-wicket win with two overs to spare.

Bottesford remain second, but 23 points adrift.

Ben Ryder (5 for 30) helped second-bottom Sproxton to a good win at Harlaxton, helping to restrict the hosts to 153-9.

Ryder then top-scored in the reply with 35, with good support from Harry Webster (30) and captain Simon Naylor (28) as the visitors sealed a four-wicket win with five overs in hand.