Boston CC Firsts picked up a vital win at fourth-placed Woodhall Spa to ease their Lincs ECB Premier relegation worries on Saturday.
Tom Baxter’s side may have been under-strength, with Ricky Lovelace, Matthew Hood and Mahir Yousuff all unavailable and overseas professional Dan Sincuba having to head back to South Africa due to family commitments, but they produced the goods to move up a place to eighth in the table.
When the coin came down in favour of Baxter he opted to bowl first on the Jubilee Park surface.
It couldn’t have started much better for Boston with Scott Elleray and Tim Bell keeping it tight before Bell dismissed Jack Hughes and Woodhall were 9-1.
Bell’s second wicket wasn’t very far away when Joe Irving was caught at first slip by Jon Cheer after it rebounded off the returning Fayadh Haffejee at second slip.
Woodhall’s two main batsmen - Jack Timby and Prasanna Jayawardene - were together at the crease and they would have wanted to rebuild from their poor start, but after a poor call from Timby and a direct hit from Baxter, Jayawardene was on his way back for zero.
Paul Deans then entered the attack and removed Timby after trapping him in front and Woodhall were struggling on 40-4.
Captain Ross Dixon joined Henry Wilson at the crease and the pair started to re-build the innings.
They pushed the gaps against the slower bowlers and batted sensibly with minimal risk.
Dixon’s dismissal was a strange one.
After three consecutive boundaries, Deans managed to get his man, caught at short line leg after a smart low catch by Ben Troops.
Pradeep Chanditha joined Wilson at the crease and put on 50 for the sixth wicket.
Chanditha’s aggressive approach saw him push the scoreboard along.
After a great catch by Cheer at short leg, Wilson had to return to the pavilion for 29.
Matthew Law was then bowled by Deans for eight and then took a one-handed catch to remove Chanditha for 33.
Deans picked up his fifth wicket of the game in his final over.
Bell and Elleray returned to the attack and picked up a wicket each to dismiss Woodhall for 171.
After the tea interval, Kieran Evans fell for eight to the in-form Irving.
Tom Poole and Cheer batted sensibly and worked hard to slowly head towards the 172 total.
Boston were 86-1 at drinks, exactly halfway towards their total, with nine wickets in hand.
Woodhall all-rounder Chanditha removed both Cheer and Poole in quick succession and Boston were 99-3.
Troops was run-out after sharp work by Mark Irving, then Dixon removed Michael Musson and Baxter and Boston were 128-6, needing 44 runs to win.
However, Haffejee, who battled through with a bad back, and Peter Mitchell chased down the 44 runs and saw Boston to a great victory and 20 important points to help their position in the league table.
“Twenty points was huge today,” Baxter said.
“Grimsby, Louth and Alford all lost and we managed to come away with a victory that nobody would have expected us to get.”
Boston’s man of the match was awarded to Paul Deans for his first Premier League five-wicket haul for Boston.
Lincoln and District
Lindum 125-6, Boston Sunday Firsts 126-7 - Boston won by three wickets.
Boston Sunday Firsts sit 31 ponts clear of Lindum at the top of the Lincoln and District League Premier Division - after recording a three-wicket run over their closest rivals this week.
The away side finished their overs on 125-6, with victims sent packing by Tom Baxter (two), Tim Bell,m Ben Troops, Scott Elleray and Tom Poole’s run out.
Poole (34), Kieran Evans (31 not out), Baxter (21 not out) and Peter Ward (18) were among the winning runs.