Boston CC Firsts picked up their first winning draw since their return to the Lincs ECB Premier.
Two of the bottom three clashed at The Mayflower on Saturday, and both sides were desperate for a victory to leave the others further behind them.
It wasn’t the ideal of starts for Boston when Matthew Hood became unavailable only half an hour before the scheduled meet.
Second XI captain Luke Gilding stepped in to fill the void as his side were without a game.
At the toss, both captains saw a very grassy wicket that looked like it would have a bit in it for everyone.
When the coin came down in favour of Boston skipper Tom Baxter he opted to bat, which was a change from what Boston had done so far this season.
The opening pair of Tom Poole and Michael Musson were both dismissed as Boston sat at 15-2.
Then with Ryan Croom and Liam Sparke falling cheaply it left Boston struggling massively at 43-4.
“It looked like I had made the wrong choice at that point,” Baxter said.
“Four down very quickly and it looked like it was going to be the bowlers’ day.”
Saihan Azim joined Cheer at the crease and the pair attempted to re-build the innings.
Although it was only a 33-run partnership, it was something that Boston desperately needed in that situation.
Azim was harshly judged lbw for 16.
When Baxter joined Jonny Cheer at the crease and the score on 77-5, they still had 28 overs left to bat and batting their overs looked a long way away.
With the two spinners settling into the attack, Baxter and Cheer pushed the ball around and steadily built another partnership together.
When Baxter was dismissed for 19, the pair had added 56 to Boston’s total and Boston sat at 133-6.
Two more 30-run partnerships between Cheer and Gilding and then Cheer and Riley Orr edged Boston close to 200 with four overs remaining.
Cheer was eventually dismissed for a fantastic 124 from 114 balls.
“It was a great innings,”Baxter mused.
“He gave one chance when I was out there with him, but got away with that and then cashed in.
“He made batting look very easy on a pitch that the rest of us found difficult.”
Scott Elleray and Orr managed to not only take Boston past 200, but also past 225 to earn Boston five batting points.
Elleray and Orr ended on 19 and 10 not out respectively as Boston posted 232-8 from their allotted overs.
At the tea interval, Boston would have been very confident that that score would have been enough to pick up their first victory.
With Elleray back in the side, he and Orr took the new ball and a bad ball each over saw Grimsby progressing nicely at five runs per over.
It wasn’t until the 11th over and the introduction of Baxter that Jack Wilson was trapped lbw for 17 that Boston picked up their first wicket.
After a couple of tight overs from Baxter, he also sent down a bad ball an over which allowed Grimsby to build another partnership.
Tim Bell followed the others by bowling that one bad ball per over.
At the halfway stage of the innings, Grimsby were in complete control at 130-1.
With Neal Snell and Steven Crossley making batting look easy, Boston looked in deep bother.
Orr and Elleray re-entered the attack in an attempt to make that all-important breakthrough.
Orr bowled Crossley (57) and Grimsby still only needed 69 from 18 overs.
A sharp bit of work from Croom ran out Joe Farmery (two) before Orr bowled Volley (five).
At 187-4 and Snell passing his hundred the game still looked to be heading away from Boston despite a much better bowling performance after the drinks interval.
Slim hopes became bigger hopes when Baxter ran Snell out for a fantastic 109.
Grimsby sought 37 to win with 10 overs remaining, and Boston knew they needed five wickets to win the game.
In the end, neither of those eventualities happened as a tight spell of bowling from Orr and Elleray and then Baxter saw Boston pick up two more wickets, both to Baxter after impressive catches from Orr and Cheer, and Grimsby failed to get the 37 runs required.
As Grimsby needed six from the final over, the game was in the balance but four dot balls and two singles later and Boston had managed to snatch a winning draw from the hands of defeat.
Baxter said: “From the 30th to the 50th over, we were brilliant.
“Nobody put a foot wrong and we bowled so much better than we had done.
“The pressure was all on them as they had the game won and threw it away.”
Boston’s winning draw saw them pick up 15 points from a game that they at one point, looked like getting very few.
The Man of the Match award went to Jonny Cheer for a match-winning 124.