Top three target will herald a successful season for Bourne
Bourne Cricket Club captain Pete Morgan believes a second successive top three finish will be classed as a successful season for the Abbey Lawn club.
Morgan’s men open their Lincs Premier Division campaign on Saturday with a trip to near neighbours Market Deeping.
Bourne finished behind champions Bracebridge Heath and runners-up Grantham last season and Morgan is hoping his side can repeat their high placing again this time around.
He said: “We have set our sights on the top three again and, if we can do that, then it will have been a successful season.
“Bracebridge will always be strong. They will be missing a few players from last season as Matt Carter and Matt Lineker have both left, but they always seem to bounce back and come back stronger.
“Grantham will again be a good side while Scunthorpe will be a good addition to the league after their promotion.
“When new teams come into the division, you probably expect they’re going to be in the bottom half, but I expect Scunthorpe to be very competitive and to see them up there.”
Morgan, at 31, is the oldest player in the Bourne side as they look to put their faith in youth again for the coming campaign.
The thriving youth policy at the Abbey Lawn has produced a constant conveyor belt of talent with Morgan hoping to make the most of the latest protégé - Joey Evison - when his Stamford School and Nottinghamshire commitments allow.
Evison, who is part of the Nottinghamshire Academy, was selected to play for the Trent Bridge club’s second eleven last season while also earning recognition with the England (North) representative side.
Morgan added: “Joey will hopefully be play for us when his commitments elsewhere allow. Stamford School play Saturday matches for the first third of our season while he will also have commitments with Nottinghamshire.
“But we’ve got to make the most of him while we can because he’s a very good player and in a year or two he will not be available for our level.
“He’s come through the ranks at the club and it’s lovely to see youngsters progressing into the first team.
“We will always try to give our youngsters the opportunity. There is a natural progression through the club.”
Bourne have kept all last season’s side intact while also adding all-rounder Dan Bandaranaike to their ranks following Nassington’s decision to withdraw their Cambs League side.
Morgan continued: “Dan contacted me to say he was looking for a club and it adds extra strength to the squad.
“We didn’t want to just add anybody because we have got a good balance to the squad and everyone is looking forward to getting started.”
Tom Dixon is the only absentee for Saturday’s league opener as, being captain of Bourne Rugby Club, he will be involved in their final match of the Midlands 4 East (South) season at Thorney.
n Bourne 2nds begin their South Lincs and Border League Premier Division campaign with a home match against Freiston on Saturday.
The Rutland League season also gets underway on Sunday with Bourne – who finished runners-up last year – hosting Oundle at the Abbey Lawn in Division One.