SPALDING Town 1st were forced to watch on as their two biggest rivals for South Lincs and Border League Division One glory registered maximum points on Saturday.
Bourne 2nd were swept aside at Stamford by nine wickets – a result that saw them replace Spalding, who were without a game, at the top of the standings.
Defending champions Billingborough were in equally impressive form, demolishing Sleaford 2nd by 114 runs to move within nine points of Town. Both results ensure that the title tussle is very much a three-horse race.
Steve Scott was the star of the show for Boro. His impressive 65 not out guided the back-to-back champs to 208-5 from their 45 overs, with brother Geordie Scott (40) and David Gollop (34) also chipping in well.
The Scott show continued with the ball, with Sleaford having no answer for Billingborough’s attack. Steve bagged 4-19, while Roy Tilley and Gollop took two apiece to keep their unbeaten record alive.
Stamford matched their 20-point haul by battering Bourne. Josh Bentley (29) was the only batsman to really trouble the scorers as the visitors were skittled out for just 71 – which was knocked off by the hosts in just 13 overs.
They now lead Spalding by 15 points, but have played a game more than Rob Ambrose’s charges.
Away from the title race in the top flight, Moulton Harrox slipped to a 33-run loss at Grantham.
Maxwell Cusack took 3-36 as the home side posted a solid 187-5 batting first.
A decent partnership from Matt Barnett (31) and Chris Beale (35) had Harrox believing they could knock off the runs early on in their reply.
But three wickets each from Danny Ashley and Neil Stevenson hampered their progress – and Moulton were eventually dismissed for 154.
Spalding 2nd were in fine form in Division Two, leapfrogging rivals Billingborough 2nd into fifth with a fine six-wicket success.
Steve Norris (2-29), Carl Lamming (3-12) and Simon Juckes (3-19) all bowled superbly to limit Boro’s second string to 101-9.
Jonathan East (18) then top scored as Town got over the line with four wickets to spare.
Sunday’s derby clash between Moulton Harrox Sunday and Baston was beaten by the rain.
The same could be said for much of the Division Three schedule, but Pinchbeck did manage to get a game in – and what a cracker it was.
Andrew Beeston’s unbeaten 31 guided them to 136-9 against title-chasing Claypole at Spalding Grammar School.
That looked like being enough at one stage as Beeston returned to take three wickets, but the away side limped home with two wickets in hand.