A low-key and sombre end to Grimsby Town CC's season
GRIMSBY Town completed their Lincolnshire ECB Premier League campaign with a disappointing losing draw against bottom of the table Boston.
Town gained 11 points to finish the season in eighth position.
There was a subdued air at Augusta Street following the sad death of player Richard Taylor, an extremely popular member of the club and a friend to several of the first team. A minute's silence was observed by everybody at the ground prior to the match.
Boston chose to bat first in perfect conditions, but made a shaky start as four wickets fell with only 87 on the board. Lee Charlton was the pick of the bowlers removing both openers, including dangerman Jonathan Cheer, who was caught by 15-year-old Sam Baker for 19 after mis-hitting a pull shot.
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Bangladeshi batsman Saihan Azim and Boston captain Tom Baxter then put on a vital 94 for the fifth wicket in 19 overs. Grimsby's attack looked weak and badly missed Johannes Diseko, the South African spinner, who had departed a week early to see his father, who is seriously ill.
Azim scored 65 from 80 balls and Baxter was only denied his half-century when an athletic dive from Gary Tillison, pictured, saw the bowler deflect a shot from Azim and run out the non-striker.
Boston scored at a healthy rate throughout their innings, against some loose Grimsby bowling and ragged fielding. Town dropped four catches, but still managed to bowl out their opponents as Boston were all out for 241, with Tillison bowling Paul Deans with the last ball of the innings, to finish with four for 70 from his 12 overs. Colin Cheer helped boost the total with a useful 30 not out but from only 26 balls.
Charlton led Town's attack well, finishing with four for 55 from his 16 overs.
Grimsby's reply began well as Richard Antcliffe (37) and captain Jim Morgan put on 108 for the first wicket in 23 overs. Morgan scored 58 from 85 balls, with eight fours. Both were trapped lbw by Cheer, who completed a good all-round performance by taking four for 58 from his 17 overs.
The town innings fell apart after a middle order collapse. Grimsby were 135 for two in the 33rd over but then declined to 136 for six, four overs later.
Carl Taylor went down with all guns blazing as he hit 31 from 32 balls, before running himself out.
David White and Sam Baker managed to deny Boston full points as they defied the bowlers for five overs.
Town finished on 194 for eight after 50 overs.