STAMFORD Town’s chances of winning the South Lincolnshire and Border League title disappeared with a disappointing 28 run defeat at Bourne.
Town sat third behind Spalding and Billingborough going into Saturday’s games but Bourne’s 2nd XI, who have struggled in division one of the league this season, were too strong on Saturday.
The home side scored 214-5 from their 45 overs, with youngsters Tom Bentley (100no) and Chris Binns (56no), leading the way. Steve Armstrong (2 for 36) continued his excellent season with the ball, with good back-up from Bill Hall (2 for 52).
Stamford could only manage 186 for 8 in reply, despite several batsmen getting themselves in, notably Chris Bore (31), Brett Bennett(33), skipper Liam Davé (24) and Neil Williams (23). Tom Bentley (3 for 46) and Robert Bentley (3 for 42) inflicting most of the damage.
Four other centuries were scored elsewhere in the South Lincolnshire & Border League as batsmen made runs in the sunshine.
Elsewhere in the top flight, Ansar Hussain’s 106 for Spalding left his team needing just two points from their final game to clinch the league title.
Spalding and Billingborough both picked up 20 points with Spalding adding to the woes of bottom team Market Deeping 2nd XI while Billingborough beat Sleaford by 10 wickets.
Geordie Scott claimed five victims for Boro and the all-rounder now has 39 wickets as well as 865 runs to his name.
STAMFORD’S 2nd XI returned to winning ways at the expense of Boston 2nds, in division two, cruising home by 90 runs.
Town eventually posted 188 for 9 from their 45 overs despite of a few alarms along the way. Opener Gary Peck shone again but fell for 29 when looking in prime form and number three Jon Morley likewise fell for 27.
It was a partnership of 84 between Phil Holland and skipper Chris Birch, which turned the match Stamford’s way, after they were 89 for 5 at the 27. Birch, once again in determined mood, hit eight fours in his 52, with Holland making 41,(five fours) after struggling early on.
Boston never got to grips with Richard Crossley’s fine swing bowling, at the start of their innings, he finished with 2 for 24, and then the youngsters kept the pressure on, with Ben Peck (2 for 28), Alex Birch (2 for 19) and Tom Dytham (2 for 16) all bowling tight lines and skittling the opposition for just 98, moving Town up into second place, behind newly crowned champions Welby.
Darren Bradbury’s unbeaten 102 ensured that Welby remain undefeated in their domination of Division Two.
Only 11 points separate the bottom three – Cavaliers, Baston and Thomas Cook, all of whom lost, Baston going down to Moulton Harrox for whom Darren Hibbert bowled 12 overs with nine maidens and took three wickets for just four runs.
Division One - Woodhall Spa 2nd 207, Skegness 2nd 122-9; Lindum Ramblers 181-9 (Watkin 61, Forbes 5-27), Belton Park 105 (M Benson 5-26); Grantham 147 (Mudie 72), Moulton Harrox 148-6 (Barnett 95no); Bourne 2nd 214-5 (T Bentley 100no), Stamford Town 178-8; Spalding 346-6 (Hussain 106, M Kearns jnr 52, C Kearns 62), Market Deeping 2nd 64; Sleaford 2nd 47 (Scott 5-20), Billingborough 49-0;
Division Two - Cavaliers 166-9 (Dale 54), Billingborough 2nd 169-7 (Duncan 65); Thomas Cook 133-8, Blankney 137-3 (B Hargrave 53); Stamford Town 2nd 188-9 (Birch 52), Boston 2nd 98; Welby 204-7 (Bradbury 102no), Spalding 2nd 72; Moulton Harrox 189-9 (Beale 73, M Barnett 70, Lamin 5-47), Baston 84;