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Oakham Cricket Club clinch promotion to the Leicestershire League Premier Division and will win the title if they beat Uppingham Town in their final game

Oakham celebrated clinching promotion to the top flight of the Leicestershire League by moving into pole position to lift the Division One title.

They overhauled long-time leaders Newtown Linford - who suffered a surprise six-wicket defeat at Hinckley Amateur - with a five-wicket home win over Kibworth 2nds on Saturday.

The Rutland side now hold a three-point advantage over their nearest rivals going into the final game of the season which is away at county neighbours Uppingham Town.

Oakham defeated Kibworth 2nds on Saturday. Photo: Alan Walters (16298756)
Oakham defeated Kibworth 2nds on Saturday. Photo: Alan Walters (16298756)

Saturday's success saw Oakham dismiss their visitors for 148 after Kibworth had won the toss and elected to bat first.

Darren Jones followed up his impressive run of form for the second team by taking a fantastic four-wicket haul for the senior side.

He conceded just 14 runs off his seven overs and took the wickets of four of the top six Kibworth batsmen.

Shaun Morris had made the first breakthrough by trapping Rickesh Patel leg before with the visiting total on just 13.

Dipesh Patel (15) and Priyesh Patel (22) put on 37 runs for the second wicket before Jones broke up the promising partnership.

He took another wicket a run later before Charlie Baker opened his account for the afternoon by bowling Vishal Patel to reduce Kibworth to 55-4.

Max Levine and Bhavik Patel also fell to Jones in quick succession which left the visitors reeling on 71-6.

Daniel Broughton (20) and Jon Butler (37) rallied the Kibworth cause with a 53-run partnership for the seventh wicket.

But the introduction of Joe Stafford and Rob Taylor turned the match back in Oakham's favour.

Stafford claimed 2-24 and Taylor took two wickets in just five balls as Kibworth were bowled out for 148.

Oakham defeated Kibworth 2nds on Saturday. Photo: Alan Walters (16298747)
Oakham defeated Kibworth 2nds on Saturday. Photo: Alan Walters (16298747)

Taylor and Cameron Flowers got the Oakham reply off to a strong start with a 55-run opening partnership.

Flowers fell for 12 to Bhavik Patel who then trapped Chris Larsen leg before for eight while Morris made 14 until he was caught by Akash Bhakta off Vishal Patel.

Top scorer Taylor then fell for 77 with Oakham on 117-4 after he had smashed 12 fours and three sixes in his 41-ball innings.

Sean Cowley had made six when he was trapped leg before by Bhavik Patel, but skipper Richard Martin joined Baker to see Oakham home.

Baker blasted three boundaries in his 14 not out while Martin's unbeaten 16 consisted of four fours as Oakham secured the vital victory inside 24 overs.

Uppingham, who will be aiming to ruin Oakham's championship charge this weekend, maintained thei grip on third spot with a 29-run away win at bottom-of-the-table Market Harborough.

Uppingham had been bowled out for 164 after electing to bat first with Kashif Munir top-scoring in a man-of-the-match performance.

Munir came to the crease with Uppingham struggling on 91-6 after Josh Carrington had cracked 34 of those runs for Town.

Despite Toby Rees falling for 11 after Munir's arrival at the crease, he put on 53 runs in a pivotal eighth-wicket partnership with Nathan Hall.

Munir had made 36, which included seven boundaries, when he was bowled for 36 with Hall unbeaten on 21 at the close after running out of partners.

Oakham defeated Kibworth 2nds on Saturday. Photo: Alan Walters (16298802)
Oakham defeated Kibworth 2nds on Saturday. Photo: Alan Walters (16298802)

Harborough had put on 36 runs for the first wicket in their reply when Munir claimed the first of a five-wicket haul.

He took out five of the top six Harborougn batsmen to return figures of 5-25 from a superb nine-over spell.

Scott Green provided solid support with 2-17 from seven overs while a wicket apiece for Mark Cox and Colan Bartram saw Harborough bowled out for 135.

Charles Hurley had top-scored for the hosts with 47 and was the eighth wicket to fall after being run out by Rees.

Uppingham 2nds claimed a narrow three-run home win over Fleckney Village in Division Seven East.

George Morley made 59 while there were solid contributions from Andy Hall (38), Charlie Cox (21) and Michael Beaver (30) as Town posted 196-9 from their 40 overs.

Beaver then took 3-25 from nine overs while Cox, Joe Bennett and Lee Middleton all took a wicket apiece as Fleckney fell three runs short on 193-7.

George Scott also claimed a crucial run out late on as Fleckney made a lare surge for victory.

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