Saturdays defeat at the hands of Barnsley Woolley Miners saw Cleethorpes Cricket Club drop into the relegation zone of the 4 Probate & Wills ECB Yorkshire South Premier League.
They no longer have their fate in their own hands and have to rely on other results going their way. With three games to play (2 are away) they are in 11th position with only Aston Hall below them after being leapfrogged by Hallam who now remain unbeaten since 6th July.
On Saturday Cleethorpes lost the toss and were invited to bat first with James Osmond shuffling his batting order after a series of poor starts. Callum Carter found himself in the unaccustomed position of opening alongside the experienced Bill Kirby.
This change appeared to work as the pair slowly built a partnership which flourished as their confidence grew. Barnsley were forced to change their bowling attack as the Meggies enjoyed the rare experience of seeing 50 appear on the scoreboard without loss.
However, two runs later all the good work was undone when Carter was run out after making 28. Kirby called for a quick single but Oliver Bennett swooped on the ball and his accurate throw to the keeper beat the Cleethorpes opener before he could reach safety. This unfortunate incident set off a series of rash shots which saw 5 more wickets fall for only 44 runs.
Kirby tried to hit a ball from Ali Jahangir over the top but only managed to find the safe hands of Oliver Jackson. Tom Rollinson fell to another Jackson catch and was quickly followed back to the pavilion by Louis Kimber who lofted a catch to extra cover.
Overseas player Basheeru Walters showed intent as he effortlessly hit two sixes from successive balls only to push a return catch to the bowler and gift Jahangir a second wicket. Barnsley’s leading wicket taker, Oliver Jackson, then pushed Alex Osmond onto the back foot and got one through his defence with the total still 4 runs short of 100.
Promising youngster Max Taylor showed determination as along with Joe Baker he saw the score into three figures. His inexperience proved to be his undoing when after scoring a dozen, mainly away on the leg side, he tried to flick away a Steven Nuttall delivery which had been pushed through a little quicker and rapped him on the pads in front of his wicket.
James Osmond and Baker pushed the score to 141 by adding 25 before the latter holed out in the last over. Only one more run was added leaving the visitors with a moderate total to chase down.
Their reply was given a jolt when Walters uprooted the stumps of Jonathon Trower with only 8 runs on the board. After dismissing Trower, who was regarded as the main danger man, the Meggies attacked with relish. Some fine defensive batting by both Boeta Beukes and Beck Frostick denied the home attack and slowly regained the upper hand.
Both batsmen completed half centuries with Frostick, the more aggressive of the two, reaching his from 73 balls. It took his partner 108 balls to reach the same landmark and he then edged a Lee Charlton delivery into the hands of keeper Tom Rollinson. But the game was won and lost at that stage as only 21 runs were required, and this proved easy for the competent Frostick who was on 74 when the target was reached.
The next challenge for the threatened Meggies is an away game at Abbeydale where they have failed to record a Yorkshire South League victory over Sheffield Collegiate to date.