Captain Tom Baxter praised Boston Cricket Club’s ‘huge’ victory at Bourne Seconds.
Without leading run scorers Ben Vella and Dave Newman, the Mayflower men still managed to navigate a tough South Lincs and Border League Premier Division contest at a fellow top-four side.
Ryan Croom struck a vital 85 runs as Boston claimed all 20 points to remain 29-points clear of second-placed Sleaford Seconds.
“It was a huge twenty points for us,” Baxter said.
“We were on the back foot at times in both innings and we showed some fight and determination to come through that.”
Bourne elected to bat and the opening pair of George Hartley and Joshua Bentley dealt in boundaries only for Bourne as the score led to 28-0.
Two overs later, Sam Elliott found the edge of Bentley’s bat and Bourne were 35-1 and Bentley was back in the pavilion with 25 to his name.
Another partnership started to blossom as Sam Evison joined Hartley before Hartley was dismissed by Baxter after a great catch from the impressive Matthew Hood.
Evison followed in the next over after Paul Tetther rolled back the years to take a diving catch to give Andrew Hewitt his first wicket of the day.
After Baxter finished his 12 overs with figures of 1-36, Elleray returned to the attack, looking to end the innings strongly.
In his first over he removed Jon Howard and Chris Binns in quick succession and Bourne were 117-5.
Hewitt picked up the wicket of Bentley for 26 after another top drawer catch from Peter Mitchell and then Hewitt managed to dismiss David Greenfield for 13.
Hewitt’s 12 overs saw him end with figures of 3-58.
Elleray saw the tail there for the taking and with three wickets remaining, he proved too quick for them, dismissing Ben Woodward, Matt Pottle and Felix Cunnigham to pick up a well-earned five-wicket haul.
“He bowled well early on but didn’t get much luck,” Baxter said. “It was a match-changing second spell from Scotty, which stopped Bourne posting over 200.”
Bourne were dismissed for 175 in the final over of their innings.
With Newman missing, Hood returned to the top of the order to accompany Kieran Evans.
With both back in the pavilion within five overs, Boston were on the back foot at 17-2.
Croom and Baxter came together and negated the threat of the new ball and slowly built their way into the innings.
The pair rotated the strike well, taking on many quick singles and really pushing the fielders hard.
The pair gradually accelerated, especially Croom who seemed to punish every bad ball that was bowled.
No bowler was allowed to settle and in the 23rd over, Bourne were onto their seventh bowler of the innings.
Croom really accelerated after his 50 and was finally dismissed after a top catch from the running Woodward for 85 from 67 balls.
At that point Boston were 152-3, and in need of 24 more runs to secure a huge victory.
Saihan Azim joined Baxter and the latter passed 50 and Boston coasted past Bourne’s total in the 27th over.
Baxter ended the innings 58 not out.
Boston’s Man of the Match award was shared between Scott Elleray for his 5-33 and Ryan Croom for his match-winning 85.