Uppingham Town Cricket Club are aiming to secure promotion to the Premier Division of the Leicestershire League
Uppingham Town's destiny lies in their own hands as the club looks to land a promotion treble this season.
The first team won their crunch clash in Division One of the Leicestershire League on Saturday while the second string face a winner-takes-all showing in Division Seven East on the final weekend of the season.
The club's Sunday side have already clinched the runners-up spot in Division Two of the Rutland League behind champions Oakham.
Jamie Dumford's Saturday's first team were 10-run winners over Ashby Hastings on Saturday to go into this weekend's finale in second spot behind Division One champions Lutterworth Town.
It was a thrilling contest as the Rutlanders returned home with the victory which moved them ahead of their opponents in the table.
Both teams' innings were remarkably similar as bowlers held the upper hand early on before some serious 'tail-wagging' in the form of 77-run stands for the seventh wicket from each side turned the tide.
Having won the toss, Jamie Dumford elected to bat and, despite the loss of James Cross in the first over, Uppingham had reached 54 without further alarm.
However, having added 49 for the second wicket, Mark Cox (22) and Dumford (17) departed in the space of three balls and Town were forced to rebuild.
Sam Hodson formed the base of the Uppingham rebuild – despite the quick-fire dismissals of Kashif Munir, Danny Dumford and Harry Wade which saw Town floundering at 81-6 - in tandem with George Morley as they put together a 77-run partnership that ultimately proved the difference in the game.
The stand only ended when the introduction of part-time bowler Adam Hoult to the attack enticed Morley into an injudicious swipe and was bowled for 38 from just 40 balls with four fours.
Hodson departed in the following over, top scoring with 43 (three fours, two sixes), as, from 160-8, Toby Rees saw Uppingham to 192 before Henry Legg removed Rees and Gatin Wadhwa in consecutive balls to close the innings.
Leading from the front, Ashby skipper Will Legg returned the best figures of 3-36 from his nine overs. Tom Brickman and Henry Legg bagged a brace with Hoult, Sam Perkins and Chaturanga Kumara taking one apiece.
Ashby's reply got off to a solid start and had reached 25 before a fantastic piece of fielding from Wade brought the first wicket.
After stopping a full-blooded drive, from his knees, he plucked out middle stump with a direct hit leaving Spencer Clark well short of his ground.
And, when the Dumford brothers combined to remove the very dangerous Lee Bingham from the next delivery, Uppingham's tails were well and truly up.
The brothers then teamed up again four overs later to get rid of the Ashby skipper Legg before Danny Dumford pinned Hoult leg before to close his excellent spell of nine overs with 3-21 and Ashby leave struggling at 52-4.
Perkins and Henry Legg started a recovery before Scott Green claimed both on successive overs, the latter to a superb tumbling catch at long off by Cross.
But, from 77-6, things started to get sticky for Uppingham as Kumara and Brickman built their own 77 run stand – the big difference was it took some five overs longer than Uppingham’s own stand which would prove critical in the final analysis.
Kumara played his way to a fine 50 from 56 balls but, with the asking rate reaching eight an over, Cox had him leg before wicket.
The rate had reached 10 an over when Brickman holed out to Hodson, leaving 20 required with two overs to get them.
Ben Wright and Jake Poole had milked eight from the first five deliveries of the 44th over before Poole fell to a run out attempting a second run – Cross again the fielder firing the ball in from the boundary.
That left 11 needed from the last over and a swipe by Wright at the first ball failed to make contact while charging Green’s second delivery also failed to find the ball, leaving skipper Dumford the task of removing the bails to seal the victory for Uppingham.
Green’s 4-26 from 8.2 overs was the best figures of the day with Cox (1-39) the other successful bowler.
Uppingham now face Loughborough Carillon at Castle Hill on Saturday knowing a win will see them rejoin the county’s elite in the Premier Division.
However, to overlook a Carillion side still mathematically in a relegation battle would be a big mistake as any slip up could still see the vanquished Ashby side claim second place behind Lutterworth.
The second team were seven-wicket home winners over Fleckney at the weekend after dismissing their visitors for 111 and reaching the required target inside 17 overs.
They are hold a six-point advantage in second place over Saturday's hosts Birstall Village who are currently in third spot.
Sam Hodson hit an undefeated century as already-promoted Uppingham triumphed by 155 runs against Huntingdon in the Rutland League on Sunday.
Hodson hit 101 not out while Toby Rees made 28 as Uppingham posted 217-9 from their 45 overs.
Huntingdon were then skittled out for 62 in their reply as Scott Green took 5-11 from seven overs with youngster Charlie Cox providing solid support with 3-30 and Harvey Stafford taking 2-8.