Sleaford CC First XI lost further ground on Lincs ECB Premier Division leaders Bracebridge Heath as rain intervened in their crunch clash at Grantham.
The rains came early in Sleaford’s reply, with the visitors on 24-2 and the game looking poised for a close finish after skipper Tom Shorthouse (11) and Ross Diver (2) had been dismissed.
Sleaford had earlier restricted third-placed Grantham to 201-7 in their allotted 50 overs with Tom Shorthouse taking 3 for 63, and Ian McPeake 2 for 55, while Angus Youles (0 for 17 from eight overs) and Adi Sreedharan (1 for 40 from 11) were economical.
The eight points kept them in third place, 22 points behind Grantham, and 57 adrift of Bracebridge who wrapped up a quick home win over Louth.
On Saturday the First XI host Grimsby at London Road for a noon start.
* In the Second XI fixture between the two local rivals, Sleaford were again denied their chance of victory by Saturday’s storms.
They looked well set for victory on 119-1, needing just another 33 runs to win when the weather ended play early.
Giles Goddard (3 for 35) made early inroads into the Grantham top order, having skipper Stewart Mudie caught behind by Daniel Hutson for five and then removing Adrian Wing for four.
Opener Martin Parmley (42) led the recovery, but first-change bowler Kieron Habron (4 for 44) dismantled the middle order, with good support from Simon Godby (2 for 14) as the visitors lost their last eight wickets for 78 to be bowled out for 152.
With rain on its way, Sleaford’s batsmen raced out of the blocks, and after Aayush Patel fell for 21, Godby (52 not out) and skipper Kurt Colyn (28 not out) took Sleaford to 119-1 in just 17 overs when the rains came.
The Second XI stay second in South Lincs and Border League Premier Division and make the short trip to Billingborough on Saturday.
* But Sleaford Third XI did complete a rapid victory in their Division Two match at home to Billingborough Second XI.
Dennis Pell (16) and Chris King (50) helped the visitors to a good start at 62-1, but the introduction of India Freeman turned the game on its head.
Freeman took 6 for 30 in 11 overs as Billingborough slumped to 105 all out, with Tim Brooke also returning impressive figures of 3 for 5 from only three overs.
In reply, Sleaford lost Jake Henderson for 13, but Gavin Hutson (62 not out) and Euan Bennion (16 not out) eased Sleaford to a nine-wicket win in 23 overs.