UNBEATEN Spalding Town consolidated their 18-point lead at the top of South Lincs and Border League Division One with a comfortable five-wicket win over Lindum 2nd on Saturday.
They made it five wins from eight games (the other three were abandoned) as a sublime 69 from Josh Newton helped Town chase down Lindum’s 164-9 in 38.2 overs at Lincoln.
Jamie Juckes (3-19) helped limit the hosts with a super seven-over burst, laying the platform for glory.
Defending champions Billingborough are expected to be Spalding’s chief rivals for promotion – and they were in irresistible form against Belton Park.
Geordie Scott cracked a sumptuous 117 as the third-placed side declared on 243-3 – then claimed figures of 5-43 as Park were limited to 204-9.
Elsewhere, half centuries from Matt Creaney (52) and Mark Richardson fired Bourne 2nd to derby glory over Market Deeping 2nd at the Abbey Lawn.
Batting first, Bourne notched a ‘Nelson’ score of 222-7, with Tom Shinkins (5-38) excelling with the ball.
Deeping struggled with the bat, collapsing to 156 all out after Richard Witt (40) had got them off to a decent start. Tom Bentley (3-22) led the Bourne charge with the ball.
Also on winning form were Moulton Harrox, who were inspired by a top Matt Barnett innings.
Having seen Skegness 2nd rack up 194-6, Barnett picked up the pieces from a slow Harrox start – cracking 13 fours in an unbeaten 83 as his side won by five wickets.
In Division Two, Jon East (50) and Mick East (54) both notched half centuries as Spalding 2nd got their first win of the season.
The duo helped Town score 222-6, which was way too much for Cavaliers. They were all out for 104, with Lee Eyett (4-33) the star bowler.
Meanwhile, Baston were beaten by Welby by eight wickets – despite a fine 63 from Jono Howard.
Billingborough 2nd also went down by 65 runs against Heckington after being bowled out for 95.
Down in Division Three, Pinchbeck were seen off by Boston 3rd after only managing 102-9 batting first.
Spalding 3rd were also beaten, having fallen 51 runs shy of Claypole’s imposing 212. Ashley Rex did hit 49 and Ben Edwards took 4-33.
• Results: Division One – Lindum Ramblers 164-9, Spalding 165-5 (Newton 69); Sleaford 2nd 308-7 (Morris 95, Sneath 89), Grantham 82; Skegness 2nd 194-6 (S O’Dare 81no), Moulton Harrox 197-5 (Barnett 84no); Stamford Town 198-9 (Lem 50, N Williams 54), Woodhall Spa 2nd 190-6 (Bee 62, Dodds 54no); Bourne 2nd 222-7 (Richardson 50, Creaney 52, Shinkins 5-38), Market Deeping 2nd 156; Billingborough 243-3 dec (Scott 117), Belton Park 204-9 (R Cocks 55, Moore 65, Scott 5-43).
• Division Two – Baston 139-7 (Howard 63), Welby 140-2 (J Tickler 66no); Heckington 160-5 (I Glendinning 63no), Billingborough 2nd 95 (Elliott 5-19); Boston 2nd 148, Thomas Cook 83; Spalding 2nd 222-6 (M East 54, J East 50), Cavaliers 104.
• Division Three – Lindum Academy 62, Timberland 64-4; Claypole 212, Spalding 3rd 161 (Revill 5-33); Pinchbeck 102-9 (Ward 5-8), Boston 3rd 103-4 (Mitchell 51no); Friskney 234-5 (Baxter 84), Grantham 2nd 115.
Lincs ECB Premier Division
BOURNE picked up a losing draw at second-placed Woodhall Spa on Saturday.
Sam Evison (48), Ricky Lovelace (43), Ben O’Brien (35) and Dan Milgate (32 not out) all scored well as the hosts racked up a formidable 262-7 batting first, with Jack Berry (2-39) and Ben Stroud (2-54) the pick of the Bourne bowlers.
In reply, Peter Morgan’s charges made a decent fist of chasing down their target.
Ben Stroud top scored with 52, while the on-song Conrad Louth (41) and skipper Morgan (36) all chipped in with solid knocks.
Wickets did fall at regular intervals though, with Bourne finishing up on 213-8 after 50 overs, meaning Spa took a winning draw (7).
There was better news for Market Deeping, who won a nail-biting Outgang Road affair with Grimsby Town by just two wickets.
Batting first, a 73 from Carl Taylor saved Grimsby’s bacon, as they mustered just 164 in 29 overs. Four of their line-up were dismissed for ducks, with Karl Green (4-29), Alex Wheatley (3-2) and Matt Rose (3-32) doing the damage with the ball.
Deeping lost their top four cheaply, but Ali Sharp (44), Dave Gillett (43) and Aussie Tom Attalah (37) helped rebuild, allowing tail-enders Rose and Green to see their side over the line.
• Results: Bracebridge Heath 309-5 (Bentley 105, John 52, Atri 68no), Sleaford 58; Skegness 165 (Pringle 52), Haxey 130 (Bariwala 8-35); Grimsby 164 (Taylor 73), Market Deeping 166-8; Lindum 164 (Powell 58, Baxter 6-49), Boston 142; Woodhall Spa 262-7, Bourne 213-8 (Stroud 52); Hartsholme 222-8 (Rush 69, Brooks 51), Louth 226-4 (Brindle 84, G West 51no).
• SEE Thursday’s Spalding Guardian for reaction, reports, scorecards and tables.