Market Rasen CC Second XI moved to within 13 points of the Lincs County League Division Two title despite a surprise home defeat to Cleethorpes Third XI on Saturday.
Rasen’s 29-run defeat was only their third of the season, but the blow was softened by the news of a heavy defeat for rivals Cherry Willingham at Grimsby.
It left Rasen 28 points clear at the top with just two games of the season remaining, meaning the title could be wrapped up this Saturday at Scunthorpe Town Seconds if they win and Cherry slip up again at home to Cleethorpes.
Rasen skipper Neil Davies won the toss and asked the visitors to have first bat, a decision which looked wise when Liam Entwhistle bowled opener Archie Lumby for seven.
But Sam Baker (48) and Luis Adlard (49) added good runs for the second wicket before both were bowled by James Quinlan (2 for 40).
Useful contributions came from all of the middle order as Ben Rogers (30 not out) and Andy Haith (21 not out) guided Cleethorpes to a competitive 215-5 from their 45 overs.
Opening bowlers Taylor (2 for 27 from 15 overs) and Adlard (1 for 18 from seven) kept a tight rein on the Rasen reply early on, despite a good second-wicket partnership between Davies (54) and Tom Bradford (25).
Daniel Clark (44) and Entwhistle (45 not out) also chipped in, but the hosts could not catch up with the required rate and closed on 186-7, gaining six valuable bonus points.