Sleaford RFC inflicted Boston’s first defeat of the season with a bonus-point win to open up the Midlands Four East (North) title race.
The Red and Blacks edged past their derby rivals 27-22 at Ruskington Road on Saturday to chalk up their seventh successive win.
In an absorbing contest, Sleaford secured victory in the final 10 minutes through a try and Dan Mackie drop goal.
Sleaford stayed fourth, but cut the gap on Boston to seven points, and remained just a point behind the second and third-placed sides, with a game in hand on all three.
Boston played with the advantage of the strong wind in the first half, and broke the deadlock after 20 minutes when fly-half Rowan Mason opened the scoring with an interception try.
The hosts levelled as they crossed the whitewash for the first time, but Mason added a second interception try, converted by John Hummel as Boston went into the interval 12-5 ahead.
Hummel converted a penalty early in the second half to stretch their lead to 15-5, but Sleaford responded quickly with a second try, converted by Mackie, to reduce the deficit to 15-12.
While Boston tried to play a tighter game in their forwards, Sleaford’s back division looked dangerous and created scoring opportunities.
But the visitors struck next in a rare excursion into Sleaford’s half, when a well-executed line out drive and maul resulted in a penalty try to extend the lead to 22-12 with just 15 minutes left.
But once more Sleaford’s response was swift with a second try and Mackie conversion to reduce the arrears to 22-19.
And with back row Luke Fowler sin-binned, Boston played the final 10 minutes with 14 players.
Sleaford took full advantage, gaining the lead for the first time – and the bonus point – with a fourth try before the drop goal completed the scoring to cap a superb comeback win.
Paddy Hobson crossed for two of Sleaford’s tries, with the others coming from Curtis Key and Harry Moffat.
Their final game of 2019 comes on Saturday when Sleaford face a tricky trip to fifth-placed Cleethorpes with just two points separating the sides.