Boston Cricket Club Firsts gave their promotion hopes a boost following their four-wicket victory over rivals Stamford Town.
At the halfway stage of the season, Tom Baxter’s side now sit four points clear at the top of the South Lincs and Border League Premier Division.
Stamford began the day in second, but defeat saw them drop down to fourth, slipping behind Billingborough and third-placed Bourne.
Town won the toss and elected to bat, but Scott Elleray soon picked up the wickets of openers Chris Bore (13) and Liam Dave (16), caught by the keeper and first slip respectively.
The introduction of Paul Deans didn’t have the usual response, and wickets didn’t start to fall.
Zach Chappell and Simon Prentice batted sensibly and worked really hard on scoring runs.
At the other end, Baxter bowled tightly and made it difficult for the batsmen to score, picking up the wickets of both Chappell (60) and Prentice (34).
Chappell was fantastically stumped by Luke Gilding and Prentice was all Baxter’s work, the captain taking a brilliant one-handed catch off his own bowling.
This was a major turning point in the game as Baxter, Elleray and Deans managed to make scoring difficult for Stamford.
Deans returned to pick up three wickets in his four-over second spell as Stamford struggled to 167-8.
After the tea interval, Boston opener Kieran Evans was joined by wicketkeeper Gilding.
Gilding was dismissed by Suneel Appan for eight and Mathew Poole soon followed for the same score.
Boston’s two leading run-scorers, Evans and Baxter, were together at the crease and set about chasing down the total.
A steady 30-run partnership helped Boston to 60 before Evans was caught down the leg-side off Alex Birch for 29.
Saihan Azim came to the wicket and batted with aggression and, along with Baxter, helped Boston to 124 before he was trapped in front by the experienced Steve Armstrong for 31.
Peter Moore came to the crease and it wasn’t long before a mix-up between Moore and Baxter saw the captain run-out for 49.
With 30 still needed from seven overs, the game was heading for a tense battle.
Moore and Ricky Drury got Boston to within six of their target before Moore found the man on the boundary.
Vice-captain Elleray came in and hit a four with two balls remaining to lead Boston to 170-6, and keep them at the top of the table.
The Acorn Taxis Man of the Match was awarded to Baxter for his 2-26 off 12 overs and 49 runs.