With four games to go in the Lincolnshire ECB Premier League programme, Bracebridge Heath need just 19 points to secure the championship after beating title rivals Grantham.
But at the bottom of the table, there is still everything to play for and Alford came within 13 runs of a win that would have lifted them out of the relegation zone after bowling Boston out for 169.
Only Ishan Jayarathne’s 96 gave the visitors a defendable total of 169 and their cause was helped by four early wickets falling in the second innings.
Alford fought back, Andrew White hitting 80 to push the total ever closer but Scott Elleray ensured victory for Boston, ending on seven for 44.
This leaves Alford 12 points behind Market Deeping who went down to Woodhall Spa by five wickets after being bowled out for 118.
The top of the table clash brought a century for Bracebridge’s Brett Houston in a second wicket stand of 144 with Vikram Atri (57) which helped the leaders to a final total of 263, the last wicket falling on the last ball of the innings.
Grantham had reached 146 for five when Matt Bradley began a five over spell that brought him four for 10 and reduced to visitors to 178 for nine before the last wicket fell on 180.
Louth’s tie against bottom side Grimsby Town brought two centuries, Xander Pitchers hitting the first. His unbeaten 100 in a second wicket partnership of 127 with Laurence Scott (72) saw Louth to 249 for six. Harry Warwick was then unbeaten on 116 as Grimsby’s innings ended on 189 for nine.
Jack Berry also made a century for Bourne in their victory over Scunthorpe Town at Abbey Lawn.
Scunthorpe recovered from 78 for six to 152 for seven thanks to Ian Snowden and Karanjit Bansal and Bansal was last man out for 50 with the score on 154. Bourne lost two wickets for 34 runs but Berry and Joey Evison added 73 runs and Berry ended unbeaten on 101 as he and Carl Wilson saw Bourne to victory.
Lindum travelled to Sleaford and steady batting down the order saw the score to 243 before the final wicket fell in the last over.
Pierce Morley-Barnes and Richard Bishop put on 96 for the third wicket and from 178 for seven, Tom Lindsay and Jake Benson put together a lively stand of 50, Lindsay hitting three sixes in his innings of 52.
In contrast, the Sleaford batsmen struggled to build a sizeable stand and the final wicket fell on 148.
Boston 169 (Jayarathne 96), Alford 157 (A White 80, Elleray 7-44);
Bracebridge Heath 263 (Houston 101, Atri 57), Grantham 180;
Scunthorpe 154 (Bansal 50), Bourne 155-3 (Berry 101no);
Lindum 243 (Morley-Barnes 82, Lindsay 52), Sleaford 148;
Market Deeping 118, Woodhall Spa 122-5;
Louth 249-6 (Pitchers 100no, Scott 72), Grimsby 189-9 (Warwick 116no);
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