Louth CC Taverners kept alive their hopes for a league and cup double after winning the T20 Cup for the fourth year running.
Louth hosted Southbank at London Road on Sunday, but went in without regular captain Khawar, injured with a broken finger, and vice-captain Zubair due to a family bereavement.
The captaincy responsibility fell to Imran Cheema who, after winning the crucial toss, decided to bat first.
Louth didn’t get the start they wanted and were in trouble at 29-2 after five overs, with both openers Tye and Keefe back in the pavilion, Robinson taking both wickets.
Reggie Koen, returning after a break, started rebuilding Louth’s innings and added 32 with Jafri who was then LBW leaving to Parker, leaving Louth 61-3 at the halfway mark.
This brought the dangerous Cheema to the crease who started in his usual aggressive mood, hitting two boundaries and a huge six before he was caught on the boundary for 18 (82-4).
Koen knew he had to take responsibility to get Louth to a winning score and timed the ball well to bring up a deserved 50.
Alex Bell (16) played responsibly and gave Koen the strike in a stand of 64.
With wickets falling at the other end and overs ticking, the well-set Koen began to attack and brought up his century, hitting six fours and nine sixes to help Louth post a very respectable 195 in 20 overs, of which 113 came in their last nine overs thanks to Koen’s memorable innings.
Southbank’s openers Milligan and Cook started the chase aggressively and reached 60 in five overs, with Cook scoring most of these runs with powerful hitting.
Cheema knew Louth needed to break the dangerous partnership and brought himself on to bowl, making an instant impact with two wickets in his first two balls.
With this he brought young Fergus to bowl who took the prize wicket of Cook, caught by star of the show Koen for 59, an innings which included seven fours and three sixes.
Henry Tye’s off-spin was introduced, much to the surprise of everyone, having not bowled regularly this season.
But the move paid off as Tye (5 for 12) bowled with accuracy and bamboozled the middle and lower order batsmen to claim his first five-wicket haul.
Southbank were bowled out for 146 in 19 overs to seal Louth’s fourth successive tournament win.
Louth now aim to win their remaining two East Lindsey League games as they chase a possible double.
The Taverners wish to thank DJ Simon King, Matt and Alison Kerning, Jo King and Helen Bell for their help in organising the final and or the refreshments, as well as Kenwick Park Estate for their continued support.