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Oakham United stage the semi-finals of the Rutland Cup at Lands' End Meadow

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Oakham United will kick-off their defence of the Rutland Cup in the opening match of this season's competition on Saturday.

They will take on Stamford Lions in the first semi-final at Lands' End Meadow which gets underway at 1pm.

Oakham started their pre-season programme last weekend with a 1-1 draw away at Thurlow Nunn League side Huntingdon Town.

Oakham United celebrate their success last season. Photo: Alan Walters
Oakham United celebrate their success last season. Photo: Alan Walters

The opening semi-final is then followed by Cottesmore playing against Uppingham Town in the second match which starts at 4pm.

Cottesmore have retained the services of the key trio of goalkeeper Alex Brown, defender Aaron Ridout plus top scorer Mark Tinsley for the new campaign. They have also landed Sven Hart from Oakham.

They will be staging the final of the Rutland Cup which takes place the following weekend - July 23 - at their Westray Park ground.

The aim of the competition is also to raise funds for charity with For Rutland this year's benefactors.

The charity raises funds to pay for specialist advisers at Citizens Advice Rutland, who provide free, confidential, independent, non-medical advice to people of all ages who are living with long-term health conditions in the county and the surrounding area.

Businesses have also backed the competition with Starline Taxis, the Crown Tavern, Rutland Development, Rutland Late Night Pharmacy, Titans Building Services, ChromaSport, Dan Allen Sports Photography, the Royal Duke, Kevin O'Brien Gas Services, Green Oakham Dental Care, Oakham Wines and Orbis Oakham all supporting the event.

Rutland Cup (57982232)
Rutland Cup (57982232)

The line-up for this season's Peterborough League has also been confirmed with Oakham and Uppingham facing several new challenges in the Premier Division.

Stamford Lions have dropped down to Division One with Deeping Rangers Reserves among several promoted teams.

Uppingham's second string - who are under the new management of Rob Lawrie this season - have been elevated to Division Three where they are joined by the newly-merged Ketton & Casterton.

Premier Division (17 teams): Crowland Town, Deeping Rangers Reserves, FC Peterborough, Holbeach United Reserves, Leverington Sports, Moulton Harrox, Netherton United, Oakham United, Oundle Town, Peterborough North End, Ramsey Town, Stamford Belvedere, Stilton United, Tydd, Uppingham Town, Warboys Town, Wittering Premiair.

Division One (16 teams): Eunice Huntingdon, Farcet United, Holbeach United Sports, Long Sutton Athletic, Moulton Harrox Reserves, Netherton United Reserves, Peterborough City, Peterborough Polonia, Pinchbeck United Reserves, Sawtry, Stamford Lions, Stanground Sports, Stilton United Reserves, Whittlesey Athletic Reserves, Wisbech Town Reserves, Wittering Premiair Reserves.

Division Two (16 teams): Cardea, Crowland Town Reserves, Deeping United, Dreams, FC Hampton, FC Parson Drove Reserves, FC Peterborough Reserves, Glinton & Northborough, King's Cliffe United, Leverington Sports Reserves, Oakham United Reserves, Park Farm Pumas, Stamford Belvedere Reserves, Tydd Reserves, Whaplode Drove, Wittering Premiair A.

Division Three (15 teams): Deeping Rangers Development, Deeping United Reserves, FC Hampton Reserves, Ketton & Casterton, Long Sutton Athletic Reserves, Netherton United A, Oundle Town Reserves, Park Farm Pumas Reserves, Peterborough Rangers, Rippingale & Folkingham, Sutton Bridge United, Thorpe Wood Rangers, Uppingham Town Reserves, Warboys Town Reserves, Whittlesey Athletic A.

Division Four (16 teams): AFC Malborne, Bourne Town A, Deeping United A, FC Hampton A, Hampton United, Holbeach Bank, Leverington Sports A, Netherton United B, Park Farm Pumas A, Parkside Athletic, Ramsey Town Reserves, Sawtry Reserves, Stamford Lions Reserves, Thorney, Whaplode Drove Reserves, YDP.

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