Six wickets for Xipu not enough as Bourne taste defeat in Border League title

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Bourne slipped out of contention to fight it out for the South Lincolnshire & Border League Premier Division championship with a 71 run lost away at Belton Park on Saturday.

There had been a very thin chance that Bourne could challenge for the title in both Saturday leagues, but while the First XI look almost certain to go on and claim the Lincs Premier title next week, the Second XI have slipped off the pace.

On Saturday Belton set Bourne a modest target of 155, after bowler Xanti Xipu had ripped through the offence taking six wickets for 42 runs.

However when Bourne took to the crease they suffered an early batting collapse. The first six Bourne batsman scored just 25 runs between them and 19 of those came from Chris Binns. The tail put up a little resistance but the visitors were eventually bowled out by a disappointing 84.

So poor was Bourne’s batting performance that their top scorer was actually extras (20).

The loss leaves Bourne in fourth place in the league, which looks likely to be their final position with just one round of games left.

It has been a closely fought season at the top of the league and the final week of the season will decide the championship after leaders Grantham scored a good win over third placed Lindum Ramblers and challengers Boston beat Welby.

Mark Fell made the highest score of the day, hitting 99 in Grantham’s victory and Sam Peters claimed five wickets, as did Tom Baxter of Boston to take his wickets total for the season to 50.

Skegness 2nd stay bottom of the Premier Division, 13 points behind Welby, after going down to Woodhall Spa 2nd by four wickets.

The Division One title is wide open, with Market Deeping 2nd moving to the top after beating Friskney on Saturday and Boston 2nd on Sunday.

Deeping have played one game more than Grantham 2nd, Spalding 2nd and Billingborough 2nd, all of whom are still in the running despite Spalding’s 31 run defeat by Billingborough.

Ross Lowndes took six wickets for Deeping on Saturday and Pat Brown claimed five on Sunday while the division’s top scorer was Mohamed Azeer with an unbeaten 81 for Woodlands.