With Boston Cricket Club Firsts only requiring 18 points to guarantee promotion back to the Lincolnshire ECB Premier League, the focus was all on completing that task against Long Sutton on Saturday.
When the coin came down in favour of Dave Newman he had no hesitation in opting to bat on another perfectly prepared Mayflower wicket.
The opening batsmen, Evans and Newman took the game to Long Sutton’s opening bowlers, finding the boundaries with relative ease. A 63 run partnership in the first six overs set Boston up well before Newman mis-timed a pull shot to depart for 28.
When Croom was dismissed four overs later for six, Boston were 80-2 and well set for another 200 plus score at home.
With Boston on the front foot the next partnership put them firmly in control. Evans and Vella continued to find the boundaries with ease and a fantastic, chanceless 77 from 59 balls from Ben Vella saw Boston past 200.
With Evans contributing a run-a-ball 93, Boston were soon at 237-4 and set for a total over 300.
Newman said: “Kieran and Ben batted brilliantly and really put us in a very good position. It was a crucial partnership that really put us in control of the game.”
The runs continued to flow as Matthew Hood found the gaps and the occasional boundary to push the score on to 291-7 at the end of the innings.
After the tea interval, Boston’s bowling attack, without Elliott and Mazhar through unavailability, started well with four consecutive maidens.
The opening bowlers of Elleray and Hewitt struggled to make the breakthrough as Barnes and Skoulding stood firm to frustrate the home side.
The introduction of Vella brought the breakthrough, with three quick wickets seeing the end of Skoulding, Wright and Barnes, leaving Long Sutton on 83-3.
Another stubborn stand from Wright and Woodhall frustrated Boston until Newman and then Vella picked up wickets to reduce Long Sutton to 130-5.
When Newman dismissed Bull for four, the fall of Long Sutton’s sixth wicket guaranteed that Boston would pick up 18 points.
Hewitt then claimed the seventh wicket after returning to the attack and Elleray popped up with two late wickets to edge closer to the league’s leading wicket taker, Rob Simpson.
Long Sutton ended the innings on 164-9 and Boston’s 19 points guaranteed them promotion back to the top flight.
The man of the match was awarded to Kieran Evans for his run-a-ball 93.
Newman added: “It’s been three years coming, but we have finally done it. We’ve got a good squad here and really performed this year.
“We have performed every week barring one and that is why we are clear at the top of the league.”
Next Saturday, Boston travel to Lindum for their penultimate game of the season without the injured Baxter and Elliott, who is unavailable due to footballing commitments.
Although the league title is already secure, the team will be keen to finish the season in style with good results in their final two games of the season.