Jubilant Bourne Cricket Club clinched their first Lincs Premier Division title since 2010 yesterday (September 13).
Bourne actually lost their final game of the season at second-placed Lincoln, but they had accumulated enough bonus points by tea-time to make sure of top spot. Lincoln eventually won the game by two wickets to inflict just a second defeat of the summer on the champions.
Lincoln could only pip Bourne to top spot by bowling them out cheaply and then by chasing down their target without losing many wickets. That was never a possibility thanks to steady batting from Conrad Louth (49), skipper Pete Morgan (45) and wicket-keeper Carl Wilson (29no) took Bourne to 178-5 in their 50 overs.
Ben Stroud claimed 3-39 before Lincoln eased home. The gap between the top two at the end of the season was eight points and Bourne deserve immense credit as they led a competitive division for virtually the entire season.
Market Deeping endured a tough second-half to the summer and that continued to the bitter end as they suffered a 74-run defeat at the hands of dethroned champions Sleaford at Outgang Road in a match that saw three players record tons.
Former Kiwi Test player Tim McIntosh was predictably one of them. His 140 took him past 1300 runs for the season - breaking his own record set last season. Andy Hibberd also made 107 as Sleaford posted a formidable 310-5, but Deeping started brilliantly as they scorched to 179-1.
Dave Sargeant (129) claimed his first ton for the club and Chris Jones contributed 59, but Deeping lost their last nine wickets for just 57 in an orgy of run outs and poor shot selection.
Spalding were crushed by nine wickets at third-placed finishers Bracebridge Heath after being dismissed for 112.
LINCOLN beat BOURNE by 2 wkts
Bourne 178-5 (C. Louth 49, P. Morgan 45, C. Wilson 29no).
Lincoln 179-8 (B. Stroud 3-39, J. Berry 2-32, T. Dixon 2-42).
BRACEBRIDGE HEATH beat SPALDING by 9 wkts
Spalding 112 (T. Rajaratne 37, L. Whitworth 23, B. McGlads 5-45).
Bracebridge 113-1 (P. Cook 68no)
MARKET DEEPING lost to SLEAFORD by 74 runs
Sleaford 310-5 (T. McIntosh 140, A. Hibberd 107, L. Peacock 2-78).
Market Deeping 236 (D. Sargeant 129, C. Jones 59).