SOUTH LINCS & BORDER LEAGUE: A GRANDSTAND finish to the Division One season is in prospect as Spalding and Billingborough reman on a collision course.
Both picked up maximum points on Saturday and are only separated by seven points with five games to go, while Stamford slipped out of the race after a shock loss.
Spalding weren’t anywhere near their best as they ground out a workman-like four-wicket win over Bourne 2nd.
Asked to bowl first at the Abbey Lawn, Rob Ambrose’s side made light work of the Bourne line-up, dismissing them for a meagre 129.
Charlie Kearns (1-29) removed Matt Creaney in the first over, while Jamie Juckes (3-31) and Henry Charlton (3-3) snared the best figures.
Bourne skipper Tom Bentley (35) offered some resistance, before falling to a super Josh Newton catch.
In reply, Town were once again indebted to Ansar Hussain. Wobbling on 56-5, the all-rounder steered his side over the line with an unbeaten 35.
In contrast, Billingborough blitzed Moulton Harrox in the day’s other derby, with the on-song Geordie Scott again man-of-the-match.
He took 5-41 to help dismiss hosts Harrox for 146, with a 54 from Jack Barnett the best Moulton score.
That was never going to be enough against the defending champions, who simply teed-off on Moulton’s attack.
Devastating opening duo Scott (79 not out off 49) and Dave Newman (64 off 47) chased the score down in just 15.5 overs, ensuring a ten-wicket success for the leaders.
With Boro and Town set to clash on August 25, it’s looking very much like a title decider.
Away from the race for silverware, winless Market Deeping are starting to look doomed at the foot.
They suffered an 81-run beating at Belton Park, for who Dave Richardson cracked an unbeaten 100.
Deeping, who were all out for 107, are now 25 points behind second-from-bottom Grantham.
In Division Two, Spalding 2nd skipper Tom Dale played a match-winning role to keep his side in the title hunt.
After seeing his second-placed team limit Boston 2nd to 128-9 – Lee Eyett taking 4-24 – Dale anchored the reply with an unbeaten 61 to clinch a seven-wicket success.
There was a much closer finish in the battle between Billingborough 2nd and Moulton Harrox Sunday, with Boro edging it by one wicket.
Max Cusack top scored with 41 as Harrox made 109 batting first, while Matt Cox snared 3-22.
Boro looked set to be skittled when Henry Lavery (4-26) and Cusack (3-37) ripped through the order, but a pivotal 45 not out from Mark Pilgrim edged the hosts home.
Also in the second tier, Jono Howard’s fine 66 wasn’t enough for Baston as they lost by 36 runs at Heckington.
Lloyd Dyer’s 5-35 couldn’t prevent Heckington from racking up an imposing 254, with Baston managing a respectable 218-8.
Elsewhere, Pinchbeck picked up a timely triumph in Division Three as they thrashed Lindum Academy by 136 runs.
Sam Smith slapped a super 81 and Richard Riley added 50 not out in Pinchbeck’s 208-6, before skittling Lindum’s third string for 72.