Morgan eyes a late charge for the title

**Bourne v Louth cricket at Abbey Lawn, Bourne.'Peter Morgan (right) hits four off Andy Carrington bowl, left is Conrad Louth
**Bourne v Louth cricket at Abbey Lawn, Bourne.'Peter Morgan (right) hits four off Andy Carrington bowl, left is Conrad Louth
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BOURNE skipper Pete Morgan insists the Lincolnshire ECB Premier League title is still winnable with Bourne’s trip to Bracebridge in September a potential title decider.

Bracebridge’s defeat to Boston last weekend opened up the possiblity of a late challenge from either second-placed Boston or third-placed Bourne, who beat Louth last week to keep their recent run of form intact.

Morgan knows his side must beat Bracebridge as well as hoping another side defeats the current leaders, but he says his side will challenge right until the end.

Morgan said: “It’s definitely possible if we win the rest of our games including the one at Bracebridge.

“They have shown that they can slip up and we should have beaten them at home earlier this season.

“The game at theirs will be crucial but I am quite confident.”

And if Bourne can carry on the form of the last few weeks there is no reason why they cannot remain unbeaten between now and the end of the season.

Bourne made it four wins in succession by seeing off Louth by 38 runs at the Abbey Lawn on Saturday despite a terrible start.

Bourne slumped to 12-3 which included a third duck of the week for star batsman Conrad Louth. This one represented something of an improvement as he’d been dismissed first ball twice for the Lincs Minor County team last week.

But Charlie Hopkins is in prime form and his 59 plus an unbeaten 34 from David Christmas, 29 from Pete Morgan and 28 from Fahad Masood pushed Bourne up to a respectable 202-7.

Hopkins was dismissed by England lady international Arran Brindle who owed her team something after illegally bowling a ball on the match wicket during her warm-up, a move that cost her team five penalty runs.

Mid-table Louth may have fancied their chances of reaching their target, but they were ravaged by an early Masood assault.

Brindle opened the batting for Louth and was promptly dismissed for a duck by Masood, about 130 fewer runs than when she played against Market Deeping earlier this season when she became the first woman to score a ton at ECB Premier Division level.

The Pakistani paceman went on to removed Brindle’s fellow openers Laurence Scott and also accounted for dangerman Nuwan Shiroman (56) as he claimed 5-60, while Hopkins picked up 3-44 as Louth were bowled out for 164.

Morgan said: “Louth are a good side; it’s always a tough game against them. They are fighters.

“We lost a few wickets early on but battled back. But even though we got a few quick wickets early, at no stage did I think it was in the bag.”

Bourne visit Skegness tomorrow.