Louth Second XI lost ground in the promotion race as they journeyed north to Broughton for their latest Lincolnshire County League Division One game.
Having won the toss, Louth chose to bowl first in seamer-friendly conditions, but the hosts raced along at six runs per over, hitting anything off line straight to the boundary.
Changes were quickly made with experienced seamer Stewart West and skipper Phil Burrell coming into the attack.
Burrell made the breakthrough with his second delivery, getting Simpson caught by Steve Wright for 29, and the Broughton batsman played much more watchfully from then on.
Only 59 runs were added in the next 18 overs as both bowlers settled into a good line. Burrell (9-3-28-1) was forced out of the attack having issues with his troublesome right knee, but Tom Ryder stepped up to the plate and conceded only six runs in his first four overs.
Kully Bains executed a great run-out to dismiss Dobbs for 54, but West bowled without reward to finish with economical figures of 15-1-61-0.
Ryder (7-1-28-1) claimed his first wicket of the season, while Zain Siddiqui also hit the stumps with a direct hit for another run out.
The tail then wagged as Broughton finished on 214-7. Phil Nicholson (5-0-33-1) and Reggie Koen (9-0-55-2) were the other wicket-takers.
Louth knew chasing 200-plus wouldn’t be easy although the outfield was getting quicker.
Wright was soon out, bowled for four, which brought Bertie Milligan-Manby to the crease to join West.
The pair began rebuilding, adding 53 for the second wicket in 13 overs before Milligan-Manby was caught in the slips for 30. Dean Jacklin also fell in the same other without scoring to leave Louth 61-3.
Siddiqui was caught as short leg for one, and West (53) was dismissed the very next ball after bringing up his half-century.
Koen and Henry Tye built a strong partnership as Louth looked in control once again, but just as things were looking good, Koen’s stumps were shattered as he was bowled for 26.
Bains (5) and Ryder (1) also followed quickly as the game swung back in Broughton’s favour with Louth on 149-8. Nicholson and Tye continued to attack before Tye was finally bowled for 35
Louth looked dead and buried at 163-9 with eight overs left and 52 still needed, however Nicholson (15 not out) and number 11 Burrell didn’t give up and were within 21 runs of victory when Burrell played down the wrong line and was LBW for 17.
A spirited performance with the bat left Louth wondering what might have been had they not been chasing more than 200.
On Saturday, Louth host Hartsholme at London Road when a 20-point win will be a must for their promotion hopes.