Billingborough inched ahead of Boston at the top of the South Lincolnshire & Border League Premier Division in a weekend where talented young players were to the fore.
Belton Park’s victory over Spalding 2nd owed much to two 16-year-olds – bowler Tom Ward whose 10 overs yielded 5-18 and Matthew Law who hit an unbeaten 57 and claimed four wicketkeeping catches.
And in Division Two, 14-year-old Amelia Gardner claimed 5-25 off six overs for Spalding 3rd against a strong Claypole side.
Billingborough beat Stamford after Chris King (84) and Mitch Griffiths (74) got the innings off to a good start with an opening stand of 153.
Billingborough closed on 244-4 and Nathan Garfoot’s 5-83 helped bowl Stamford out for 200.
An even higher scoring game at Boston saw the home side rack up 286-3 with Dave Newman’s 128 taking his total past the 300-run mark after only three matches.
Tom Baxter ended on 96 not out but Bourne 2nd also took advantage of the good batting conditions with Jordan Temple hitting 61 and Robert Dunn 51, both unbeaten, as the visitors’ innings closed on 200-2.
Rohan Perera hit 50 for Belton Park as he and Law helped the total to 187-8.
Ward then dismissed both Spalding openers cheaply and with Law’s four catches behind the stumps, Spalding 2nd were all out for 114.
For the second week in a row, Long Sutton were on the wrong end of an agonising defeat.
Having won the toss and elected to bat on what looked like a pitch full of runs,
Sleaford were quickly on the back foot when Barry Stanway sent Simon Godby’s stumps flying.
But it was Jimmy Wright (4-35) who did the bulk of the damage with a mixture of line and length and vicious short balls.
And when spin wizard Rob Simpson removed Kurt Colyn, Sleaford were in all sorts of trouble at 83-6.
However the Sleaford tail wagged and Sutton’s bowlers were unable to make regular breakthroughs as the lower order butchered their way to 206-9 from the 45 overs.
Sutton set about their run chase and although Chris Booth departed early, captain Phil Barnes and vice-captain Wright were soon into the swing of things and scoring freely in a splendid 100 partnership.
But when Barnes fell to a somewhat dubious lbw decision for a very well-made 59, the Sutton collapse began.
Wright was soon to follow after making a classy 63 and Steve Skoulding and Dan Oldfield were the only other batsmen to make double figures as Sutton fell just 20 runs short.
Wright said: “Once again we’ve pushed the opposition very close and we know we’re not far away from getting our first victory of the season.”
Market Deeping 2nd continue to dominate Division One, beating close rivals Long Sutton 2nd, who currently lie second, by seven wickets.
Deeping won the toss and put Sutton into bat.
Openers Andy Wright and Luke Lovegrove started well, finding the boundary regularly until Lovegrove holed out to mid on.
Jimmy Harrison joined Wright and they pushed it along nicely until Wright went the same way as Lovegrove for a well-made 38.
Sutton then lost three wickets in quick succession for just one run but Ian Morris steadied the innings with a well-struck 21 and a ‘calypso’ knock from number 11 Ross Gavaghan took the total to 157-9 from their 45 overs.
In reply Deeping set off slowly due to some tight bowling from Morris and Steven Milnes.
John McDougall and Ryan Bainborough put on a century partnership for the opening wicket until Harrison took a sharp caught and bowled to dismiss McDougall for a fine 60.
Milnes then had Connor Gillett caught behind to reward his good bowling.
Ellie Burton came into the attack and she claimed the wicket of skipper Richard Witt but with Sutton spilling three catches Deeping reached their target in the 43rd over.
Heckington are mounting a challenge after Jake Ellis’s six wickets for nine runs helped them to victory over Billingborough 2nd.
The lowest scoring game in Division Two proved to be the most exciting as Nick Crook’s 5-5 for Pinchbeck saw Baston bowled out for 82.
James Langford’s hat-trick had decimated the home side’s opening order and only three batsmen reached double figures in the innings.
Baston’s opening bowlers were on equally good form with Adam Hilless taking 5-34 and Liam Davies 4-26 as Pinchbeck were all out for 70.
Baston now lie second to Claypole for whom Ben Wadd made 137 of a total of 321, Andy Attewell hitting 64 and Scott Barnsdale an unbeaten 52.
Wadd was the first of Gardner’s five victims and Ashley Bright took four wickets.
Spalding were then bowled out for 97 with Matthew Revill taking 5-26 and Barnsdale 4-26.