Bracebridge Heath increased their lead at the top of the Readers Lincolnshire ECB Premier League to 11 points after a battling Grimsby Town side denied second-placed Grantham maximum points.
These two opened up the gap at the top when third placed Bourne went down to Woodhall Spa, the side below them in fourth while Lindum hung on to fifth place after taking almost 53 overs to overtake Alford’s total of 123 with just one wicket still standing.
Bracebridge played bottom side Spalding, declaring in the 38th over on 249 for four with Matt Lineker hitting 128 to take his total runs over 1000 for the season.
Spalding’s batsmen fought well but were then bowled out for 79.
The three teams above Spalding all gained four points, Grimsby restricting Grantham to 191 for nine at Augusta Street with Neal Snell taking three wickets.
Dan Freeman claimed the first two Grimsby wickets for only 17 runs but Steve Crossley and Ian Hallam took the total to 65, and when Crossley was stumped off Neil Stevenson, Grimsby were 85 for five.
Stevenson took two more wickets and Freeman returned to take another two, bringing his total for the season to 53, as the innings ended on 113.
Louth were left chasing the highest score of the day as Sleaford notched up 255 for seven, Tom Shorthouse and Shaun Morris hitting half centuries.
However, Adi Sreeharan’s six for 31 left the visitors well short, the final wicket falling on 126.
Nick Green’s return has provided a welcome boost to the Market Deeping batting and the 17 -year-old added 50 to last week’s century to help his side to victory over Boston who made 160 for nine, Deeping going on to claim a four wicket win.
At Bourne, Woodhall were reduced to 24 for four then 43 for five before 16-year-old Henry Wilson and Pradeep Chanditha added 60.
The final wicket fell on a modest 136 but Bourne’s reply followed a similar pattern, the home side also losing four wickets for 24 runs.
But things got worse and with eight down, there will still only 42 runs on the board.
Ben Stroud and James Keywood added 32 and Colin Cheer, who had earlier taken four wickets, joined Stroud to dig in for final wicket stand.
This took Bourne to 115 but on this score Joe Irving claimed his sixth wicket to give Woodhall victory, leaving Stroud unbeaten on 40.
Lindum took advantage of Alford’s failure to bat their full 50 overs in the closest game of the day.
Alford were all out for 123, gifting their opponents six overs.
Rikki Bovey hit 40 for Alford and Jon Miller took four wickets for Lindum, who had 27 on the board when Steve Kirkham struck twice.
Tom White took the next on 36, but Will Taylor and James Kimber took the score to 101 and in sight of victory before Taylor fell to Bovey for 43.
However, this dismissal brought a flurry of wickets for Andrew White and Bovey.
Five wickets fell for the addition of just two runs, including Kimber for 36.
Miller and James Kempton added a valuable 15 runs but when Kempton went, Lindum still needed six for victory which came three overs in to the six gained from Alford.
Results: Alford 123, Lindum 124-9; Woodhall Spa 136, Bourne 115 (Irving 6-42); Grantham 191-9, Grimsby Town 113; Bracebridge Heath 249-4 dec (Lineker 128), Spalding 79; Boston 160-9, Market Deeping 161-6 (N. Green 50); Sleaford 255-7 (Shorthouse 52, Morris 53no), Louth 126 (Sreedharan 6-31).