BOURNE cricketers are hoping to finally open their Lincolnshire ECB Premier League campaign tomorrow after the first two weeks were completely washed out.
Not a single match has been played in the league because of the recent weather, forcing players into nets sessions and limited severely outdoor training; and if the rain holds off and pitches drain they have a busy three days ahead.
Bourne’s 1st XI are due to play at Louth on Saturday before travelling to Barnack in the Rutland League on Sunday and to Skegness for the Twenty20 Winkworth Cup on Monday.
Bourne skipper Pete Morgan said: “I am hoping we will get to play on Saturday if we do not get much more rain – fingers crossed. It’s a new ground at Louth so I would have thought they would have good drainage.”
He added: “We have been netting. We are lucky that we have Witham and we have been practising fielding when we can. Hopefully when we do start playing our fielding will be unbelievable.
“It has been very frustrating. I have never known it this bad at the start of a season.”
All Saturday’s games were rained off.
And on top of Saturday’s full programme of league matches, the first round of the Winkworth Cup, due to be played on Monday at Hartsholme, Lindum, Louth and Skegness, with Bourne taking on the hosts and Market Deeping, who will feature Morgan’s brother Jamie at the top of their batting line-up.
All 12 league teams are scheduled play a round robin of Twenty20 games in four groups of three with a view to finding winners for the semi-finals and finals in June.
Should bad weather wipe out the fixtures, the cup rules allow for a bowl-out or toss of the coin in the case of abandonment.
If a bowl-out is the way forward, each team will have ten attempts to bowl at unprotected stumps with the most accurate going through.
“It’s not ideal but it’s better than a coin toss,” said the Bourne skipper. “At least there is a little bit of skill.”
l GRANTHAM and Stamford Town, who played on April 14, remain the only teams to have put bat to ball after the whole South Lincolnshire & Border League programme was washed out for the second weekend running.
With more rain forecast, an unprecedented loss of a third successive week is becoming a real threat with groundsmen unable to prepare pitches.
Should the weather ease up and the Abbey Lawn be playable, Billingborough will begin the defence of their title away at Bourne. In Division Two, Baston are at home to last season’s title contenders Cavaliers.