MARKET Deeping were blown away by a Bracebridge Heath blitz on Saturday as their Lincs ECB Premier League title aspirations took a huge hit.
Leaders Bracebridge thrashed Dave Gillett’s second-placed side by a mammoth 265 runs on home soil, with both Nick John and Paul Cook managing dazzling centuries.
Batting first, the hosts racked up an incredible 380-3 from their 50 overs.
Openers Karanjit Bansal (43 from 32) and John (134 from 143) got them off to a rapid start, backed up by number three Vikram Atri (43 from 41).
But it was Cook who really hit the accelerator, slapping a remarkable 134 from just 72 deliveries.
That included six maximums and 13 fours, as Deeping’s bowling attack was really put to the sword.
Faced with the monumental task of chasing that tally down, Deeping crumbled.
Only Charlie Kearns (30) and Chris Jones (29) made decent contributions as they were skittled out for 115 in 26.2 overs.
Brett Houston (5-30) was the pick of the Bracebridge attack,as his side moved 35 points clear at the summit.
It was a better weekend for defending champions Bourne, though.
Batting first at Hartsholme, solid knocks from Rob Bentley (60) and Fahad Masood (52) helped Peter Morgan’s men post a competitive 248-7.
That score may have been considerably lower, but for a cameo 34 not out from club legend David Christmas down the order.
Opener Warren Nel managed 77 in the home sides’ reply, but they stumbled to 184-6, meaning Bourne collected a winning draw (nine) by 64 runs.
The win moves Bourne up one place to seventh, but they are now within striking distance of rivals Deeping in second.
Bourne host fourth-placed Boston this weekend, while Deeping welcome lowly Lincoln Lindum (both 12.30pm).
• Results: Bracebridge Heath 380-3 (John 134no, Cook 134), Market Deeping 115 (Houston 5-30); Grimsby 135-9, Boston 136-8; Bourne 248-7 (Bentley 60, Masood 52), Hartsholme 184-6 (Nel 77); Louth 187-7 (Brindle 72), Lindum 90; Nettleham 158-8 (Bradford 5-32), Sleaford 159-3 (Shorthouse 52no, Hollingworth 50); Woodhall Spa 205-5 (Lovelace 100), Skegness 207-7 (Butler 53).
• RUNAWAY South Lincs and Border League Division One leaders Billingborough made it eight wins on the spin at Spalding’s expense on Saturday.
Dave Newman hit 94 as Boro made 228-8 batting first at the Memorial Field.
Spalding fell just 14 runs shy of that target as they were all out for 214, with Matt Hendry scoring 49.
There was no such trouble for Moulton Harrox though, as they brushed Market Deeping 2nd aside to go third in the table.
Openers Jack Barnett (72) and Ian Smith (72) did a large chunk of the damage as Harrox hit 248-9 at Outgang Road.
Smith (3-24) and Nigel Eveleigh (3-26) then helped dislodge Deeping for a meagre 103.
At the foot of the top tier Bourne 2nd put an end to their run of defeats by securing a thrilling tie with Lindum Ramblers at the Abbey Lawn.
Matt Benson took 7-23 to restrict the home side to 181, but Lindum were bowled out for the exact same score.
In Division Two, Spalding 2nd edged past Cavaliers by six runs at Woodlands.
Skipper Towm Dale made 56 for Town as they managed 158 in 45 overs, with Lee Eyett (4-56) helping dismiss the hosts for 152.
Elsewhere, a 75 from Ashley Rex helped Spalding 3rd stay top of Division Three.
Ashley Bright took 3-32 to restrict Timberlands to 157-7 batting first, allowing Town to squeeze home by two wickets.
Baston were also on winning form against Grantham 2nd. Chris Bower’s 61 helped them to 180, before Doug Russll (5-22) and Liam Davies (5-49) – who were the only Baston bowlers used – cleaned up the hosts for 74.
Sunday’s derby between Pinchbeck and Moulton Harrox 2nd was abandoned because of rain. Pinchbeck were struggling on 68-4 before the close.