ALL-rounder Jack Berry may have solved an on-going batting conundrum at the Abbey Lawn - who to partner opener Ben Stroud.
Skipper Pete Morgan has tried several options alongside Stroud in the last few years, including himself for a spell last season, but none have settled.
Now Berry, who struck 52 as Bourne saw off the Lincolnshire Premier League’s bottom side Boston with a five wicket win, could fit the bill.
Berry, who joined from Buckminster in 2012, put in a sparkling performance to take three wickets in addition to his half-century.
“We have been struggling for an opener alongside Ben,” said Morgan. “We need someone who can take some of the pressure off. Different players have come in but Jack did well and that follows a good innings against Bracebridge Heath.”
Adding that he thought Berry was unlucky to be given out lbw on Saturday, Morgan said: “It has taken him time to find his feet at this level but I think now he will open for the foreseeable future.”
Bourne batted first and never allowed Boston to settle with Gareth Epton’s 18 the highest individual score for the visitors. He was run out by Carl Wilson, while Stroud, Xanti Xipu and Tom Dixon also claimed wickets as Boston were bowled out for just 118.
Alexander Graham only bowled three overs but with impressive efficiency didn’t give away a single run.
In reply, Berry made 52 with nine fours before he was given lbw off the bowling of Colin Cheer. Opposite Berry, fellow opener Stroud made 35 as Bourne made a great start to their innings – just as well as Conrad Louth and Peter Morgan were both dismissed for a duck. But Bourne did enough to see out the game with 119 for five to win with five wickets in hand.
“It was a good all-round performance,” said Morgan. “Our bowling was decent and we did what we needed to with the bat.”
Elsewhere in the Lincolnshire Premier League, Market Deeping slipped up at Hartsholme, losing by 92 runs.
Hartsholme’s new signing Liam Moir-Holland hit an unbeaten 47 as his side reached 229 for seven. Jake Benson and Henry Rush then helped themselves to four wickets each, bowling Deeping out for 137, of which John McDougall made 61.
Leaders Skegness march on at the top, keeping the gap to 10 points after Peter Houghton had hit another 88 runs against Sleaford to become the second player to top 300.
Deeping face the leaders at home tomorrow while Bourne travel to nearby Sleaford.
n BOURNE beat the Rutland League’s top side, Oundle, to move into second place on Sunday.
Taking advantage of rain-cancelled fixtures elsewhere, Bourne have reduced the gap at the top to just seven points and have played fewer games the Oundle and third-placed Finedon Dolben.
Despite topping the table, Oundle were no match for Bourne who won by 107 runs.
Ben Stroud made 56 and Conrad Louth made amends for his duck a day earlier with 45 but wicket keeper Carl Wilson top-scored with an unbeaten 62 as Bourne rattled off 213 for five.
Oundle were then despatched for just 106 with Tom Dixon taking a fabulous five for just 16 runs. His ten overs included three maidens. Xanti Xipu (1-21); R Gow Kleinschmidt (2-26) and William Trim (2-20) claimed the remaining wickets.
Skipper Pete Morgan said: “213 was a decent score because the wicket was very slow. Tom Dixon bowled really, really well with four caught behinds.”