Heaven-sent relief

10-1027-2'Papplewick V Radcliffe'Papplewick batsman Alex Lloyd

10-1027-2'Papplewick V Radcliffe'Papplewick batsman Alex Lloyd

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Rain dances were answered when the heavens opened to spare PAPPLEWICK AND LINBY another defeat in the Notts Premier League.

Papplewick were almost certainly nosediving to a hammering by Caythorpe, who were blasting runs at the rate of more than eight an over.

But with the visitors only 38 runs short of their target, the weather forced the match to be abandoned.

It spared the locals their third successive reverse. However, they find themselves bottom of the table ahead of their local derby against Rolls-Royce Leisure tomorrow (Saturday) and desperately hoping that the arrival of new skipper, former New Zealand star Lou Vincent, can kick-start their campaign.

There were signs of more solidity in Papplewick’s batting, with opener Alex Lloyd again proving what a polished customer he is.

After Caythorpe had put the home side in,Lloyd stroked a fine 69, which included ten boundaries, and shared 104 for the second wicket with Tom Bowers (38, six fours).

Stand-in skipper Jim Rhodes added 30 and new signings , Norman Brackley and Doug Morton, 22 and 16 respectively.

But Caythorpe fought back in the hands of ex-Notts CCC bowlers James Hindson, who took five for 66 in 13 overs, and Darren Bicknell (two for 13 in four).

And then, wary of the gathering clouds, they launched a spectcaular attempt to knock off the runs in double-quick time.

Opener Josh Mierkalns blasted 94 (six sixes and seven fours) off only 59 balls. And with help from James Hawley (21), Bicknell (20 not out) and Matt Dowman (17 not out), playing against the club he captained last season, the visitors raced to 172 from just 21 overs before the rain intervened.

Papplewick’s bowlers took a battering and even at this early stage of the season, their attack looks badly in need of strengthening to support the reliability of Rhodes (one for 37 in seven overs).