Readers Lincolnshire ECB
Bourne 234 for 6
Skegness 72 all out
(Bourne won by 162 runs)
CHAMPIONS Bourne climbed into second place in the table when they dished out a cricketing lesson to Skegness at Richmond Drive.
The seasiders put Bourne into bat, and a couple of early wickets for Wade McCall gave the inconsistent seasiders hope that they may have turned the corner.
But a third wicket stand of 135 between Peter Morgan and Conrad Louth brought them back down to earth.
The champions went on to claim maximum batting points with 234 runs, and then whipped through the home batsmen to clinch the game with nearly 30 overs to spare.
Charlie Hopkins did most of the damage with six wickets, although last season’s highest wicket taker Fahad Masood also chipped in with four.
Skegness scored just four boundaries during their innings; such was the dominance of the visiting bowlers.
Despite falling into the bottom three with this thrashing, the Skegness camp remains upbeat about its chances of avoiding relegation from the ECB league.
Chairman Peter Reeves insisted “There is enough ability and experience to pull us out of the trouble we are in. We have got to pull together as a team.
“We are good enough to stop up, but we must support each other and give 100 per cent”.
The seasiders will be looking over their shoulders, as it is possible that two sides will be relegated at the end of this season.
Nettleham already appear doomed, but Woodhall Spa, in 11th place, have started to pick up points of late and on Saturday beat leaders Bracebridge Heath by 22 runs.
This win closed the gap on Skegness to 19 points with six games to play.
Tony Santini’s men will not relish the trip to fourth placed Grimsby on Saturday, nor the visit of Boston to Richmond Drive the following week.
There will be extra pressure on Skegness when they travel to Jubilee Park, Woodhall Spa, on August 27.
It makes for an exciting end to the season with several teams in danger of being sucked into the relegation dogfight.
With opening bowler Steve Kirkham still injured, McCall continued to work his socks off with the ball and was rewarded with four wickets. With a little more luck Michael Jackson could have had similar figures, but settled for two wickets.
Left hander Pete Houghton perished early on during the Skegness response when he became Hopkins’s first victim.
Norman Brackley and Jamie Epton put on a further 37 for the second wicket before Epton was caught behind.
Then came the excruciating collapse with 51 for 1 turning into 72 all out – nine wickets for just 21 runs. Thank goodness for the top-scoring extras!
B Stroud lbw McCall 10
A Stroud lbw McCall 1
C Louth b McCall 60
P Morgan not out 110
F Masood b McCall 4
C Hopkins c Wilson b Jackson 19
D Christmas c Brackley b Jackson 3
T Dixon not out 7
Total (for six) 234
Bowling: McCall 17-2-68-4, M Jackson 15-4-57-2, L Christian 8-0-33-0, A Santini 2-0-17-0, J Epton 3-0-24-0, Norman Brackley 5-0-29-0.
N Brackley c Morgan b Masood 15
P Houghton b Hopkins 9
J Epton c Morgan b Hopkins 9
C Wilson c Dixon b Masood 11
W McCall lbw Masood 0
P Butler b Hopkins 1
L Christian b Hopkins 0
A Santini b Hopkins 1
C Walker lbw Hopkins 0
M Jackson b Masood 0
M Santini not out 0
Total (not out) 72
Bowling: F Masood 10.4-1-35-4, C Hopkins 10-1-28-6.