Spalding Town need just 14 points from their last two games to secure the South Lincolnshire and Border League Premier Division title after a narrow one-wicket victory over Skegness on Saturday.
Chasing 210-7 to win, Town edged to 213-9 in 42.5 overs to grab their 16th win from 20 games this season, giving themselves the chance to clinch the title at South Holland rivals Long Sutton this Saturday (1pm).
Norman Brackley’s 95 was the mainstay of the Skegness innings at the Memorial Field, while Tim Hughes (31) and Reece Brant (27) also chipped in well.
Three Spalding men impressed with the ball, with Josh Lawrence (3-37), Brandon Andrews (2-51) and Jon Miles (2-47) all taking significant scalps.
In reply, Spalding’s opening duo of Chris Dring (35) and Joe Broomfield (45) gave the innings a decent foundation.
Miles at number four also chipped in with 24 and ex-skipper Rob Ambrose added 25, but Town were struggling with Josh Newton (2), Lawrence (4), Brandon Andrews (0) and Ethan Lawrence (9) all going cheaply.
Town needed a cool head to get them over the line – and that came in the form of club stalwart Jamie Juckes, who has mostly played for the second team in recent years.
He made a defiant 10 not out to get his side over the line, with Julian Wilson with him at the crease when the winning runs were scored.
Victory at Paradise Field this weekend will see Town crowned champions and secure them promotion back to the Lincs ECB Premier Division.
- Long Sutton warmed up for their SLBL Premier Division derby with Spalding by beating struggling Stamford by seven wickets.
Hosts Stamford batted first, but were dismissed for a light-looking 168 in 43.2 overs. Their chief run-makers were Adam Pearson (25), Neil Williams (23) and Sam Younger (21), with nobody able to go big.
The Sutton wicket-tackers were Angus Bell (3-22), Jake Burton (2-43), Adam Whittaker (2-24), Andy Shaw (1-19), Adam Wright (1-5) and Barry Stanway (1-18).
Although they lost Luke Barnes for just one early in their reply, Sutton made light work of their target.
An unbeaten 71 from Adam Wright, plus knocks of 35 from Raj Sangha, 25 from Josh Baker and 23 not out from Stanway, saw them reach 172-3 in the 26th over.
- Moulton Harrox saw their hopes of gaining promotion from SLBL Division Two take a hit with a two-wicket defeat against leaders Belton Park on Saturday.
Hosts Moulton were bowled out for 110 in 42.3 overs at Harrox Field, with opener Mike Kearns Snr (23) their top scorer and Benjamin Parks taking 4-12.
Park, who knew that victory would clinch their promotion to the top flight, toiled to 111-8 in reply – but won’t care how they got there. Jack Barnett (3-12) starred with the ball, but Harrox’s total was just too low to defend.
- Pinchbeck (64) failed to clinch the SLBL Division Two title after Freiston 2nd (65-2) handed them an eight-wicket loss at Spalding Grammar.