Long Sutton pulled off one of the finest comebacks you’re likely to see to overcome last season’s runners-up Sleaford 2nd.
With several players missing through unavailability and injury, Sutton won the toss and elected to bowl.
Barry Stanway bowled with his usual pace and aggression but it was the medium pace of Dan Oldfield that picked up two early wickets, including a remarkable diving one-handed catch in the gully from Jake Burton.
At 30-4 Sleaford looked in trouble but then an onslaught of boundaries from Ben Lambert got the innings back on track.
The introduction of spin twins Rob Simpson (3-15) and Burton (2-20) slowed things down and it proved one shot too many for Lambert as Stanway held a fine steeping catch on the boundary.
Wickets continued to tumble and Sleaford were dismissed in the 32nd over, leaving Sutton 129 to win in 58 overs.
Sutton made a steady start with opening pair Jimmy Wright and Phil Barnes seeing off the new ball.
However pace off the ball from Giles Goddard, Sumit Puri and Kieran Harbron saw a flurry of wickets fall.
Luke Barnes joined his father at the crease and showed real maturity under an increasing amount of pressure to try to get Sutton back on track.
But when they both fell to the spin of Harbron, Sutton were 59-8 and Sleaford were on the verge of victory.
I am incredibly happy with the team spirit we have here, our never-say-die attitude came through and helped us pull off one of the finest wins I have been involved in.Long Sutton captain Phil Barnes
However, Sutton’s own spinners had different ideas and set about chasing the target.
Flamboyant strokes from Simpson and some nudging and nurdling from Burton got Sutton back on track.
Simpson fell for a fine 35 and with 10 runs needed the momentum once again swung.
Number 11 Stef Fox saw out an over under immense pressure and it was left to Burton to score the winning runs for an incredible one-wicket win in near darkness.
Captain Phil Barnes said: “I am incredibly happy with the team spirit we have here, our never-say-die attitude came through and helped us pull off one of the finest wins I have been involved in.”
Billingborough, Spalding and Market Deeping 2nd also made winning starts in the Premier Division.
Deeping – unbeaten in Division One last season – kept up their record thanks to a 10th-wicket stand of 46 that took their innings to 217.
In reply, Adam Binns made 58 but Bourne 2nd could only reach 183.
Spalding were set a target of 192 by Woodhall Spa 2nd and passed it with ease, losing just two wickets on their way to victory.
Billingborough scored 161-9 off their 45 overs with five wickets falling to Steve Armstrong before bowling Stamford Town out for 127.
Two lady players turned out for opposite sides in the Division Two match between Spalding 3rd and Grantham 4th.
Charlotte Cross, who last year claimed two five-wicket hauls, was in the Grantham side that was bowled out for 53.
Two of the wickets fell to Amelia Gardner who went for only 13 runs off her six overs.
Jordan Butcher then hit 41 for Spalding who cruised to a 10-wicket win.
In the only other game in that division, Graham Revill and Adam Clarke each took five wickets to help bowl Pinchbeck out for 88 – a total Claypole overtook for the loss of three wickets.
The first match in the new South Lincolnshire & Border League Cup was won by Freiston who bowled Graves Park out for 132 and went on to win by seven wickets.