Louth Cricket Club First XI were well beaten on Saturday, but their Lincs ECB Premier status was secured for another season after results elsewhere went their way.
They took just five points from their trip to Boston, but second-bottom Alford’s defeat to Bourne left the gap between the two teams at 36 points with just one match to play.
After losing the toss and fielding first, Tom Cuthbert was in the thick of things early on, running out opener Peter Mitchell for five and then trapping the remaining opener Sam Holland lbw for 19.
But from 54-2 came the partnership which decided the match as Ishan Jayarathna and Jonathan Cheer put on a massive 211 for the third wicket.
Cheer blasted six sixes in his 151-ball innings of 137 before finally succumbing to the spin of Xander Pitchers.
The Namibian also removed Jayarathna for an even faster-paced 87, off 74 balls, while Cuthbert (3 for 60) took two late wickets as the home side posted a daunting 293-6 from their 50 overs.
Louth’s reply started badly when captain Laurence Scott departed for two, but Paul Martin shared stands of 44 and 41 with John Medler (12) and Pitchers (22) to take the visitors past the 100 mark with three wickets down.
But when Martin went soon after for 55, Louth’s hopes took a nosedive.
Richard Bell (15) and Seb Darke (28) added 48 for the fifth wicket to give the visitors some hope, but Louth lost their final six wickets for 29 runs to collapse to 180 all out and a 113-run defeat.
They stay 10th, but could yet finish as high as sixth with victory in their final game at home to Alford on Saturday (noon).
* Alford and District CC suffered a four-wicket defeat at home to Bourne on Saturday, despite a defiant batting show from Andrew White and Rikki Bovey.
White top-scored with 83 and Bovey added 60, but with no other batsman reaching double figures, the hosts were bowled out for 186 with two overs to go.
Bourne reached 189-6 in the 40th over to ensure victory.
Bradley McGilloway (2 for 14) and Nick Bennett (2 for 30) led the way with the ball, while Steve Kirkham and Bovey both claimed wickets.
Alford will finish second-bottom of the county’s top flight.
The Seconds host Brigg Town on Saturday (1pm) while the East Lindsey XI host Louth Taverners on Sunday (1pm).
* Alford CC Ladies suffered double defeat against Hartsholme on Sunday in the Lincolnshire Women’s Cricket League.
Game one saw Hartsholme end their 20 overs on 116-3, wickets taken by Teresa Tate, Diane Hales and Suzanne Kelleher.
Joanne Duncan’s 21 led the way, but Alford fell short on 69-4.
In game two, Alford were dismissed for 67, while Hartsholme responded with 68-1, Shona Calthorpe taking the wicket.