MARKET Deeping's fixture against Hartsholme on Saturday has become a must-win for the Outgang Road club after they slipped further behind next weekend's opponents yesterday.
Deeping are second-bottom of the Lincolnshire ECB Premier League and the gap behind Hartsholme widened despite following their defeat at Haxey.
The former league leaders returned to top spot by beating 11th-placed Market Deeping with Graeme Attenborough hitting 90 runs and taking five wickets.
But Deeping picked up five points to stay in touch with the teams above them and will hope to reduce the 19 point gap against Hartsholme next weekend.
Deeping's cause was not helped by Hartsholme's second giant in successive weeks.
Skegness suffered the same fate as Haxey when they went down to the rejuvenated Ashby Avenue side by six wickets and slipped back to second.
Henry Rush took five wickets as the seasiders were bowled out for 143 before Tim Shooter’s unbeaten 44 took Hartsholme further above the relegation zone.
Bracebridge Heath shared the points at Grimsby but a top two place is still within reach, with Paul Cook’s team only eight behind Skegness. Three players hit half centuries for Bracebridge at Augusta Street but Dan Wood with an unbeaten 52 earned Grimsby a draw.
Grimsby stay seventh after sixth placed Lindum won a low-scoring game at Bourne who could muster only 79 runs in pursuit of their opponents’ meagre 137.
Fourth placed Sleaford were held to a draw at bottom side Boston who finished just 16 short of their target to take 12 points to Sleaford’s 14.
Woodhall Spa got back to winning ways with the highest total of the day, making 288 for eight, of which Ricky Lovelace hit 90. Andy Carrington took a hat-trick in his five wickets for Louth but could not prevent his side going down to a heavy defeat.
Louth are now only one point ahead of Hartsholme as the battle continues at both ends of the table.
Results: Skegness 143 (Rush 5-43), Hartsholme 147-4; Haxey 229-8 (Attenborough 90, Tonks 68), Market Deeping 167 (Attenborough 5-38); Sleaford 217 (Mountain 87), Boston 201-8 (Shorthouse 5-58); Bracebridge Heath 237-7 (Bentley 58, Atri 58, Whapplington 54), Grimsby 192-7 (Wood 52no, Bradley 5-82); Lindum 137, Bourne 79; Woodhall Spa 288-8 (Lovelace 90, Evison 62, Carrington 5-81 inc hat trick), Louth 111.