Louth CC First XI still have work to do to ensure their Lincs ECB premier survival after falling to a heavy defeat at title challengers Grantham on Saturday.
The six-wicket loss at Gorse Lane kept Louth just two place above the drop zone in ninth, albeit with the cushion of a 38-point lead over second-bottom Grimsby with three matches left.
Home skipper Daniel Webb won the toss and gave Louth first bat against Lincs county bowlers Dan Freeman and Matt Dowman.
Laurence Scott was first to fall, trapped lbw by Freeman for two, and Dowman had fellow opener John Medler caught behind by Matthew Wing as Louth slipped to 12-2.
Namibian international Xander Pitchers and Seb Darke (28) rebuilt and steadied the ship with a 61-run third-wicket partnership until Darke was bowled by Joe Peck.
Matthew Hamilton fell first ball, trapped leg before to Peck, and Louth were in real trouble at 93-5 when lynchpin Pitchers offered a return catch to Freeman and was out for a patient 43.
But his dismissal brought in wicket-keeper Graham West who upped the pace as the visitors looked to post a competitive total.
His unbeaten 48 off 58 balls, supported by Tom Cuthbert’s 16 helped the visitors to 171-8 as they batted out their 50 overs.
In reply, Louth skipper Andy Carrington broke a 45-run opening stand when opener Ross Carnelly was caught by Scott for 21.
But the visitors could not find the cheap wickets they needed with contributions all down the top order, held together by James Dobson.
Pitchers provided Scott with his second catch to remove Samuel Peters for 18 with the score on 91.
Scott then made an impact with the ball as he bowled Dobson for 75, scored at almost a run-a-ball, and five runs later caught and bowled Freeman for 20.
The visitors still had faint hopes at 148-4, but Dowman (12 not out) and Webb (15 not out) steered the home side to victory with more than 15 overs to spare.
On Saturday, Louth host eighth-placed Market Deeping at London Road (noon start).
Louth: L. Scott 2, J. Medler 7, X. Pitchers 43, S. Darke 28, M. Hamilton 0, P. Martin 10, G. West 48*, T. Cuthbert 16, A. Bell 2, A. Carrington 1*, Extras 14. Total: 171-8.
Bowling: A. Carrington 10-0-48-1; S. Darke 4-0-14-0; P. Martin 4-0-28-0; T. Cuthbert 3-0-21-0; X. Pitchers 7-0-31-1; L. Scott 6.2-0-28-2.