Luddington are the early leaders in the Amazing Smile North Lindsey League Division Two after beating fellow Isle of Axholme side Haxey.
It was unsung hero Matthew Mellers who took plaudits for this victory when taking 6 for 33 from 14 overs including a hat trick that set up a well deserved win for the team from the North.
Gareth Parkin won the toss and chose to bat first against a youthful Haxey side with openers Darren Clark and Joe Woolhouse making a confident start before the latter was bowled by Andy Steeper for six with the total on 25.
Geoff Smith joined Clark in the middle and they moved the score along to 39 when Clark was trapped infront of his stumps from a delivery by Cameron Farr that kept decidedly low, Clark having scored 22.
He was replaced by his brother Graham who set off well only to run himself out leaving Ludd on 53 for 3.
Haxey were bowling and fielding well but as ever Andy Lawson was not to be contained for long and his arrival at the crease saw the total rise quickly.
Smith had eased himself to 14 and was looking to play an anchor role only to be bowled by the slow right armer Graham Skelton then Haxey’s South African Josh Savage took the prized wicket of Lawson, bowling him for 31 which left Ludd on 93 for 5.
Skipper Gareth Parkin and Jamie Arrowsmith then took the total to 110 with some sensible batting then Parkin was adjudged to be LBW to Skelton for five which brought Danny Taylor to the crease.
He and Arrowsmith added thirteen before the latter became another LBW victim, again to Skelton having scored 14.
Rick Green added some valuable late runs as he crashed two mighty sixes whilst at the other end Taylor was given out LBW to Savage from another ball that kept low and that was certainly the case for Steve Proctor who was bowled by a delivery that rolled along the deck to hit the base of the stumps.
Green had reached 22 when he became the fifth LBW victim of the innings leaving Ludd on 153 all out, Graham Skelton finishing with 4 for 47 and Josh Savage 3 for 28 with their pace of the ball deliveries.
Skelton opened the Haxey innings along with Ethan Tonks and he made a blistering start with some inventive batting.
Tonks was first to go, bowled by the accurate Mellers then the Clark brothers combined to take out Tom Smith for ten, Darren taking a tremendous diving catch in the deep off brother Graham’s bowling.
Skelton remained a threat but required someone to stay with him if Haxey were to succesfully chase down their target.
Joe Coggan edged a catch to wicket keeper Proctor off Mellers who was bowling like a dream and the two of them repeated the trick to send Luke Allen back, leaving the score on 56 for 5.
Danny Bullock was next to the crease but he lasted just one delivery, trapped LBW by the rampant Mellers who then produced an absolute jaffa to complete a fantastic hat trick, bowling Ross Simpson with a delivery that pitched middle and hit the top of off stump.
After the celebrations had subsided, it was back to the match and Graham Clark got in on the act when he trapped the dangerous Skelton infront of his stumps for an excellent 40 and he then took a stunning one handed return catch off Andrew Steeper who had made a quick fire nine runs.
Mellers picked up a sixth wicket when Darren Clark caught number ten batsman Roberts with the total on 71 then came a tenth wicket stand between South African Savage and Cameron Farr who showed a classic straight bat for nigh on 30 deliveries.
Skipper Parkin rang the changes, bringing on Darren Clark and Rick Green and it was Green who made the final breakthrough when he trapped Farr LBW for five, leaving Haxey on 97 all out, some 56 runs short of the Luddington score.
In a quirk of fate, the two sides meet again on June 2 - this time at Luddington when Haxey will look to avenge their defeat, while Luddington will hope to continue their terrific start to 2013, as will the quiet man Matthew Mellers who was undoubtedly their man of the match in this game.
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