Oakham’s focus is new recruits

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OAKHAM CC brought their season to close with a vital victory for the seconds against Dunton Bassett on Saturday.

Due to a points deduction for cancelling a game a week earlier, Oakham’s 2nd XI had been plunged into the bottom three in the Leicestershire League Division Seven, just seven points above their opponents on the final day.

But any fears of relegation were soon dispelled as Oakham’s bowlers left their batsmen the relatively easy target of 109.

Ben Lemon bowled an efficient 10 overs taking one wicket for just 34 runs but Matt Parnham did the most damage taking eight for 34 from a fraction under 18 overs.

Matt Edge (39) and Graham Cooper (49) saw Oakham home to safety without the loss of a wicket.

Oakham’s 1st XI looked on track for victory against Ibstock before rain stopped play.

Ibstock made 217-6 and Oakham were on 173-2 off of 31.2 overs when the match was abandoned. Chris Larsen had hit 67 for Oakham.

It has been a year of consolidation for Oakham after a difficult start to life in the Everards Leicestershire League last year.

Club captain Nick Begy said: “Overall I’ve been pleased with the results and seen the 1st team achieving not only some good wins, but a new invigorated team spirit.”

Oakham knew at the start of the summer that player availability and a consistent side would critical but fielded 49 players during the 1st XI’s season.

Begy said: “The main issue we face, especially being one of the few sides locally to field four sides each weekend, is player availability. We suffer a lot when key players are at university, and many younger players now work Saturdays.”

“However, we have seen a number of good young players this season that have been generated from our junior system. We have in essence, dedicated the Sunday 2nd XI to bring on younger players and they finished in the top half of the table, scoring more batting points that any other team in the Rutland league.”

He added: “Where we need to focus our efforts next year is recruiting new players into the club at all levels.

“With the facilities we offer we really hope local cricketers will see the appeal of supporting Oakham and help us to grow and develop further.”

The club will hold its end of season awards tomorrow for all players.

Anyone interested in playing for Oakham Cricket Club next season or to find out about junior membership and coaching should call Nick Begy on 07890 530477 or e-mail nbegy@hotmail.com.