Oakham’s 1st XI have found themselves in a relegation battle in Leicestershire Cricket League Division Three after being deducted 48 points.
Oakham lost the points for fielding an unregistered player against Shepshed Messengers earlier this year.
Oakham had called in a 16-year-old, who had been playing on a Sunday, at late notice and assumed he was registered.
However Shepshed put in a complaint after discovering the player wasn’t registered and the league took away the 24 points from Oakham for the win plus they were docked another 24-points.
The deduction put Oakham second from bottom before they played Newton 2nds on Saturday at home.
Although the club viewed the punishment as “ridiculously harsh”, Oakham had to put it behind them and make sure they turned in a performance.
Thankfully the players stood up to be counted and the subsequent effort was a magnificent performance in adversity.
Oakham batted first and needed only three batsmen to take the score to an impressive 248-1 in 45 overs. Albert Radford carried his bat for 102no and he was superbly supported by Chris Larsen with 80no and Jamie McCormack with 47.
In reply Newton Linford were unable to come to terms with the superb seam bowling of Cameron Down who took 5-24 to take his tally to 15 wickets in his last three matches.
With Shaym Lakhani and Jamie Oakley chipping in with two wickets each Newton Linford were bundled out for 121 securing a much needed 24 points for the Lime Kilns side.
The win moves Oakham up to third from bottom but points are now crucial to avoid the drop.
And even though the club is confident the team can stay up, rule changes on facilities would make it harder for them to move back up from division four to Division three.
From next year, Oakham would need to add an electronic scoreboard and score box plus fixed practice nets before they would be allowed to move back up to division three. If they stay in division three now, the additions are not essential.
Club captain Nick Begy said he was hoping the situation would galvanise the team and relegation would not be an issue.
* Oakham Saturday 2nds played Ratby 2nds away and were looking for a win to move that into the top half of the table.
After losing the toss and being put in on a slow, low wicket they made a good start with Graham Cooper, Freddie Turner and Graeme North (45) taking them to 70-1.
However, as the ball got softer Ratby’s medium pacer, Paresh (6-33), was able to stangle the life out of the Oakham batting and they subsided to 157 all out which despite the pitch was never going to be enough.
Ratby’s reply started well for Oakham with two early wickets but the arrival of Cockerill (68) and Hand (50) took the game away from Oakham who were not helped by countles near misses and some self-inflicted errors through dropped catches.
Both batsmen were dismissed late on in the innings but too late to make any difference to the result and Ratby finished on 158-5 to win by five wickets.
* The Sunday 1st were at home to Medbourne and in an effort to move away from the relegation places, Oakham fielded a very strong side but yet again they seemed to under perform.
The bowlers did well restricting Medbourne to 173-9 with young Cameron Down taking three more wickets.
However in reply only Bhavin Shukla with 51 made any runs and Oakham were dismissed for 134 to lose by 39 runs.
* Oakham’s Sunday 2nds played East Carlton 1st XI and this match was really men against boys as East Carlton’s number three, Daniel Partridge, destroyed the young Oakham bowling attack. He helped himself to 195 not out as he only just failed to reach his double century.
He was well supported by his captain with 87 not out, enabling East Carlton to finish on a massive 311-1.
Oakham were never in the hunt once last weeks centurion, Neil Southern, was dismissed for 27 though the lower order hung on for the full 45 overs with Peter Coulson contributing 30no to take the score to 115-9.
This was yet another heavy defeat for this young development side who continue to fight hard but just don’t have the firepower to deal with some very strong opposition.