Louth CC First XI got back on the winning trail as Sebastian Darke’s all-round heroics helped them to Lincs ECB Premier victory at home to Bourne.
Looking to bounce back from defeat at Sleaford, Louth lost the toss on a scorching day but were asked to bat first on what appeared fantastic batting conditions.
Skipper Laurence Scott (42) and Steve Wright (10) got the hosts off to a comfortable start before losing Wright in the 10th over with the score on 34.
However, the visitors struck quickly, removing Xander Pitchers (8) to a soft dismissal off Tom Dixon, and a small collapse saw Scott fall with the score on 79-3.
Richard Bell (32) and Darke put on 85 to put Louth in a strong position, with the score on 164 with 15 overs remaining.
Another quick partnership between Darke and Stewart West strengthened their position before West was stumped off the bowling of Berry.
Darke fell shortly after, caught off Berry for an incredible 94 runs off 74 balls, but Jason Collinson (45) continued with the scoring until he was caught off the final ball of the innings as Louth posted 285-8.
Darke’s brilliant day continued when he took two early wickets, including the wicket of the free-scoring Berry.
Louth piled on the pressure, but no breakthrough came as O’Connor and Evison added 93.
Darke (3 for 47) finally forced and error to take the wicket of O’Connor, and Pitchers (3 for 35) removed Hewitt in the next over to force more pressure on the visitors, backed up by strong fielding.
Stuart Harvey entered the frame and grabbed the wicket of Dixon before Tom Cuthbert bowled the dangerous Evison, through the gate, for 80.
Cuthbert and Pitchers bowled well in tandem as Bourne were bowled out for 207, giving Louth victory by 78 runs and another vital 20 points.
On Saturday, Louth Firsts host Market Deeping.
The club thanks kit sponsors Kenwick Park for their support throughout the season, and matchball sponsors Louth VW Centre.