BOURNE’S bowlers were in cracking form last weekend with Fahad Masood and Charlie Hopkins both claiming five wickets hauls.
Hopkins’ clutch couldn’t prevent Bourne from slipping to defeat against Uppingham, the season’s surprise package in the Rutland League, on Sunday. But a day earlier, the five wickets taken by Masood were enough to tip a tight game at Louth in Bourne’s favour.
And, although Hopkins missed out on all but one of the wickets on Saturday, Bourne captain Pete Morgan said Hopkins had bowled better than when took five the next day.
“That was the best I have ever seen him bowl,” said Morgan.
“In a sense he bowled too well. He was unplayable. The ball was doing too much for batsmen to play shots.”
Luckily for Bourne, Masood was also on fire, adding five to take his early season tally to a frightening 20 and old-stager Dave Christmas bagged three for just 21 runs.
Conrad Louth contributed a key 50 with the bat and Morgan added: “That was a fantastic innings. He has batted well all year.
“Last year we were all playing aggressively but he has taken it upon himself to be more disciplined which is what we need.
“I think our top seven will match the best in the league.”
At this time last year, the Abbey Lawn side were rock-bottom but after four games this season they sit third in the Lincs Premier League and are already buildng up a head of steam in a bid to retain their crown.
Morgan said: “We have got into a good habit of winning tight games. It helps to have Dave Christmas back in. He steadied the ship on Saturday.
“Last year we knew we had a lot to do after the first month and a half. Now we have made a good start, we need to continue. It’s important that we push on from that.”
Bourne face Skegness at the Abbey Lawn tomorrow and Morgan is determined to improve on last year’s record against them.
“They beat us twice last year but the momentum is with this time,” said the Bourne skipper.
A day after the victory at Louth, Bourne’s Sunday 1st team lost to newly-promoted Uppingham in the Rutland League’s top division.
Hopkins’ five for 38 couldn’t rescue Bourne on a day when the batsmen badly misfired, finishing all out for 87.
“Uppingham are a good all round side,” said Morgan. “They’ve had good results recently. It’s disappointing when you lose but it is good experience for the younger players who are learning. But the established players need to be more reliable.”