Youngsters sparkle as promotion is secured

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OAKHAM’s Sunday 2nd XI have secured promotion to Division five of the Rutland League.

They beat Benefield to seal second place in divisionsix by three points.

Oakham fielded a mix of experienced batsmen and a young inexperienced bowlers (except for Saturday 2nd XI skipper Matt Osman) but the inexperience proved no problem.

Fifteen-year-old Cameron Down (3-42) making his first appearance of the season opened the bowling and demonstrated great control, dismissing the opposition captain early in the innings.

At the other end Osman kept things tight taking 2-30 in his 12 overs before another 15-year-old, Harvey Stafford (3-32), took over the spin duties. Another youngster, James Slingsby took 2 for 28 with some excellent in-swing bowling and Benefield were dismissed for 165.

The bowlers were supported by some great fielding with Murray Speed taking two great catches among the four he claimed.

Oakham’s innings got off to a bad start with skipper Neil Southern dismissed for a duck in the first over but Andrew Counsell (27) and Steve Lockwood (33) consolidated the innings.

Counsell’s dismissal brought Speed (57no) to the wicket and he provided the acceleration needed to put Oakham in with a chance of winning. With Lockwood’s stubborn resistance finally ended Matt Counsell (20no) came to the wicket and, with Speed, overhauled the Benefield score in the 43rd over for a seven wicket victory.

The excellent all round performance coupled with results elsewhere were enough to guarantee promotion.