JUST six points span the top trio in South Lincs and Border League Division One after Spalding Town and Billingborough delivered important wins on Saturday.
Town ground out a 33-run triumph over Woodhall Spa 2nd to go back to the top of the standings, while a Geordie Scott century fired defending champions Boro’ blew away basement boys Market Deeping 2nd by a massive 259-run margin.
Spalding skipper Rob Ambrose admitted his side weren’t at their best at Spalding Grammar School, with Matt Hendry’s 42 their top individual score in a below-par looking 145.
The visitors lost wickets at regular intervals, but looked set for glory at one stage.
That was until slow bowlers Ansar Hussain (3-14) and Jimmy Clarke (3-16) combined superbly to take the last five wickets to dismiss Spa for 112.
In contrast, Billingborough couldn’t really have batted better against Deeping’s second string.
Batting first, a huge opening partnership of 147 from Scott (111 from 110, including six sixes) and the dangerous Dave Newman (70 from 45, including five sixes) guided them to 306-4 declared in just 40 overs.
That gave Boro 50 overs to dismiss Deeping and wrap up maximum points – and they duly delivered, skittling their opponents out for a meagre 47, with Aussie ace Scott helping himself to four wickets.
That leaves Billingborough, who – like Spalding – are eligible for promotion this season, four points behind second-placed Stamford.
Away from the tussle at the top, Bourne 2nd lost a high-scoring game against Sleaford’s second side at the Abbey Lawn.
Four wickets each from Jordan Temple and Tom Bentley couldn’t stop Sleaford in their tracks, as they posted 253-9.
Vijesh Mote slapped 72 as Bourne made a decent fist of their reply, but they fell 45 runs shy of their target after being bowled out for 208.
Moulton Harrox’s struggles continued too, with Lindum Ramblers securing a seven-wicket success at Harrox Field. Jack Barnett managed 58 as Moulton made 139, but the Lincoln side eased to glory.
The defeat leaves Moulton in the bottom two, but they are just a point behind Grantham.
In Division Two, Spalding 2nd skipper Tom Dale led from the front as his charges earned a second successive win over Billingborough 2nd.
Dale cracked 59 at the top of the Town order to help amass a challenging tally of 159-9 at the Memorial Field.
That proved more than enough for glory, as Oliver Saville (4-18) spearheaded a fine bowling attack to dismiss the away side for 53.
There was also a fine win for Moulton Harrox Sunday, who handed Stamford Town 2nd a rare beating. Karl Hibbert’s 81 was key for Harrox, who chased down 153 with two wickets to spare.
Meanwhile, a six-wicket haul from Rick Dale and a fine 51 from Keith De Keyser spurred Spalding 3rd to a routine six-wicket win over Burgh and District.
But Pinchbeck suffered a five-wicket loss to Grantham 2nd, who chased down 140.