Saturday’s final game of the season will decide the league champions when leaders Bourne take on second-placed Lindum at St Giles Avenue, writes Ann Boulton.
Bourne need just four points to be sure of lifting the title while neither side can be caught by third placed Bracebridge Heath.
The bottom of the table will also go to the wire with Billingborough just one point behind Market Rasen. On paper Billingborough have the more difficult final game, away at Woodhall Spa but Market Rasen are also likely to find the going tough against a resurgent Grimsby who travel to Rase Park keen to end on a high note after what has been a difficult season for the club.
Safe in the knowledge that they are no longer threatened with relegation, Grimsby welcomed Woodhall Spa to Augusta Street for their last home game of the season – and fell victim to the on-form Malinga Bandara.
The Sri Lankan took five for 68 as the home side were all out for 173 then hit 63 in Woodhall’s seven wicket win.
Market Rasen suffered a similar fate, bowled out for 152 at Skegness who went on to win by six wickets, Peter Houghton with an unbeaten 88.
But back at the top, Bourne drew nearer the title with a 16 point win over Market Deeping in which the highlight was Conrad Louth’s 72 runs, while Karanjit Bansal made 50 to help Lindum to a six wicket victory and 20 points at Billingborough who were bowled out for 145.
Bracebridge Heath were all out for 130, having been set a target of 193 by Sleaford, for whom Tim McIntosh hit 81 and Ollie Smith took six for 26.
The closest game of the day looked like being at Spalding where the home side were all out for a creditable 182 in difficult batting conditions, Thivanka Rajaratne with 50.
Louth found the going even harder until Arran Brindle and Graham West got together to push the score along, Brindle making 55. But with Louth on 166 for nine, bad light forced the end of play.
Market Deeping 178-8, Bourne 180-5 (Louth 72);
Grimsby 173 (Bandara 5-68), Woodhall Spa 177-3 (Bandara 63);
Billingborough 145, Lindum 149-4 (Bansal 50);
Sleaford 193 (McIntosh 81), Bracebridge Heath 130 (Smith 6-26);
Market Rasen 152, Skegness 154-4 (Houghton 88no);
Spalding 182 (Rajaratne 50), Louth 166-9 (Brindle 55) – match abandoned, bad light