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Bourne Cricket Club stay top of the Lincolnshire Premier League after victory over Bracebridge Heath

Pete Morgan helped inspire Bourne to victory as they narrowly maintained their unbeaten start to the Lincolnshire Premier League season on Saturday.

Morgan made an unbeaten 73 as Bourne claimed a one-wicket win against Bracebridge Heath to record their fourth successive victory of the campaign.

In a contest which saw runs in very short supply following the downpours 24 hours earlier, Bourne had put their hosts into bat.

Pete Morgan.
Pete Morgan.

The perennial champions lost their first wicket with just five runs on the board when opener Vikram Atri edged a Brandon Diplock delivery behind to wicket-keeper Morgan.

Max Moor and Angelo Jayasinghe rallied with a 35-run stand for the second wicket before Bourne responded with a flurry of activity.

Jayasinghe was bowled for 21 by Ben Wright who then repeated the feat in his next delivery to account for Kit Spence to leave the hosts on 40-3.

Colin Cheer then caught and bowled Moor for 16 and Bourne took control to leave Bracebridge struggling on 45-4.

However, Brett Houston and Alex Willerton remained defiant with the best stand of their innings by adding 42 runs for the fifth wicket.

The match then swung back in Bourne's favour as Tom Dixon had Willerton caught by Rob Bentley for 15 and then AJ Cook fell for four after being trapped leg before by Jack Berry.

Andy Carter was then run out by Bourne captain Courtney Kruger without facing a ball as Bracebridge slumped to 94-7.

Houston patient innings of 25 off 80 deliveries was then ended by Dixon courtesy of Morgan's second catch behind the stumps.

Alex Moor and Ben Franks helped Bracebridge past the century mark until the latter was caught by Diplock off Dixon who finished with 3-29 off 10 overs.

Bracebridge's final pairing of Moor and Joseph Mansford made a late rally by adding 19 runs for the last wicket until Morgan completed his hat-trick of catches as Cheer returned to the attack to dismiss Moor for 16.

Cheer finished with 2-48 from 10 overs while Diplock bowled four maidens in his 1-6 from seven overs.

Berry bagged 1-19 from 10 tight overs while Wright returned 2-17 from six after an excellent Bourne bowling performance.

Needing 136 for victory, Bourne also struggled for runs as they slipped to 43-5 with Berry, Sam Evison, Jordan Temple, Kruger and Wright all back in the pavilion without reaching double figures.

Morgan, batting at number six, was nine not out at this point but proceeded to take centre stage to lead Bourne's victory charge.

He made 19 of the 21-run sixth wicket partnership with Rob Dunn and continued to keep a cool head despite Bentley's fifth ball departure that left Bourne on 72-7

Morgan and Diplock came together for a crucial 43-run stand for the eighth wicket that brought Bourne back into contention.

Diplock made 14 and then Dixon, at number 10, helped add another 15 runs with Morgan for the penultimate wicket.

Dixon departed with Bourne still needing six runs for victory, but Cheer joined Morgan to see Bourne past the winning post.

Their man-of-the-match took 130 deliveries to reach his 73, which featured just seven boundaries, but timed the run chase to perfection as Bourne edged home with just one over to spare.

Market Deeping's scheduled home match with Louth on Saturday was cancelled due to the wet weather.

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