Woodhall Spa skipper Jack Luffman admitted his side’s title hopes are over in the Lincolnshire ECB Premier League after a disappointing defeat against Skegness at Jubilee Park on Saturday.
Chasing a challenging Skegness total of 239, Woodhall fell 83 runs short as they were dismissed for 156.
With just three games to play this season - and with leaders Bourne and second placed Bracebridge Heath both winning last weekend - it proved to be a particularly costly result for Woodhall.
Luffman admitted: “We just didn’t play well enough and I think we’ve got to accept now that even any remote chance we had of catching Bourne is over.
“It’s disappointing but the challenge is to win all our last three games and finish in the top three or four.
“If we do that - and add our performances in T20 cricket - then we can still look back on a pretty successful season.”
Lufmann accepted his side’s batting had let them down against Skegness with only Sri Lankan Malinga Bandara and Jack Hughes really impressing.
He added; “I’m sure Skegness were happy with 230-odd and fair play to them, but it’s not a massive score on our ground. Normally, we’d back ourselves to chase that down but we didn’t make a strong enough start.
“We were four down inside the first 20 overs and apart from Bandara and Jack Hughes, we couldn’t put any partnerships together.
“In the end, we didn’t bat well enough - simple as that. In fact, when we look back at why we’re not at the top table, I think it (our batting) is probably the answer.”
Skegness made runs right down the order, although Australian all rounder Ben O’Brien did his best to keep a grip on things with another five wicket haul.
Luffman added: “Ben bowled really well but we didn’t help by dropping a couple of catches at key times.
“It was a challenging total but we were still pretty confident of chasing it down.”
Woodhall, though, had reckoned without Skegness’ in-form Kiwi Brendon Young, who picked up five wickets in what proved to a matchwinning effort.
Overseas star Bandara made 60 and wicketkeeper Hughes battled into the 20s but the likes of Jonny Cheer, Sam Evison and Luffman himself were all dismissed for single figure scores.