Top three open a gap over chasing pack

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Victories for the top three in the Readers Lincs ECB Premier League saw a gap open up over the chasing pack.

Second placed Bourne gained three points over leaders Bracebridge Heath after the top team failed to bowl Louth out, cutting the deficit to 29 with four games to go.

Bourne picked up 20 at Grimsby after a superb spell of bowling brought Fahad Masood five wickets to take his total to 61 – just six short of the league record.

And Boston stay third after returning home from Skegness with 20 after Matt Ward hit 99 runs and Elliot Wilson took five of the seasiders’ wickets.

But the top team had to be content with 17 despite declaring on 282 for three – of which Vikram Atri hit 105 – and giving themselves 54 overs to dismiss their opponents who hung on to their last two wickets to deny their hosts the maximum.

At Hartsholme, 530 runs were scored for the loss of only six wickets as Warren Nel notched up an unbeaten 169 to help his side to 263 for two – only to see three Market Deeping players hit half centuries as the visitors reached their target with an over to spare.

Boston’s victory consigned Skegness to 11th place, two behind Woodhall Spa who also had three players making over 50 in the day’s highest total of 321 for eight at Nettleham.

The home side, still without a victory, were bowled out for 152 runs.

The mid-table battle between Sleaford and Lindum ended in a draw with Sleaford taking 16 points to Lindum’s 11 to go three points up above their hosts in the table.

Up and coming junior Will Wright hit his second half century for the Lincoln side, while Alex Hornsby made 77 runs and Stephen Bradford took five wickets for Sleaford.

Grimsby stay fourth despite defeat but are now 32 points behind Bourne and five above Louth.

Results

Bracebridge Heath 282-3 dec (Atri 105, John 65, Houston 64), Louth 159-8 (Bradley 5-30); Grimsby 182 (Masood 5-56), Bourne 187-4; Sleaford 237-9, Lindum 210-9 (Wright 62, Hornsby 77, Bradford 5-70); Woodhall Spa 321-8 (Milgate 74, Lovelace 61, Hughes 56), Nettleham 152; Boston 228-6 (Ward 99, Newton 54), Skegness 174 (Houghton 65, Wilson 5-52); Hartsholme 263-2 (Nel 169no), Market Deeping 267-4 (Jones 60, Morgan 74, Gillett 61).