County League: Derby rained off, but Egerton Park 2s go top

Division Seven East title contenders, Queniborough Second XI, from left, back - Zain Imtiazamodo, Sallim Samma, Asif Dariya, Rizwan Mangera, Abdul Haffez Samma, Salim Sally; front - Zeeshan Darwesh, Salim Makda, Ravi Jagarnate, Imran Ali, Mohammed Patel. EMN-190820-174841002
Division Seven East title contenders, Queniborough Second XI, from left, back - Zain Imtiazamodo, Sallim Samma, Asif Dariya, Rizwan Mangera, Abdul Haffez Samma, Salim Sally; front - Zeeshan Darwesh, Salim Makda, Ravi Jagarnate, Imran Ali, Mohammed Patel. EMN-190820-174841002
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Saturday’s potentially decisive County League derby between Thorpe Arnold and Egerton Park proved to be a damp squib as it fell foul to the weather.

Friday’s all-day downpour and a generally wet week claimed several fixtures, including the Division Two clash, with Saturday’s sunshine coming too late to dry a heavily saturated outfield at Thorpe.

The outcome – both claimed five points – did neither side any favours, as promotion-chasing Park slipped down to seventh in a tightly-packed top eight, while Thorpe’s lead at the top was cut slightly to 53 points after Ibstock and Shepshed both won.

The leaders travel to Houghton and Thurnby on Saturday, knowing two wins from their final four matches will clinch the title and promotion to Division One.

Park, who are 24 points off the second promotion place, host third-placed Shepshed.

* But Egerton Park’s Second XI strengthened their promotion hopes as they hit the top of Division Seven East.

The in-form side chalked up their 11th win of the campaign in beating Birstall Village at home by 47 runs.

Pre-match leaders Queniborough Seconds lost by 40 runs at Billesdon, allowing Park to leapfrog them at the top.

The Melton side lead their rivals by just four points, and third-placed Billesdon by 12, with four matches of the season to play, starting at Shree Sanatan Thirds on Saturday.

Up in the top flight, Barkby United’s relegation from the Premier looks inevitable after a 14th defeat of the season at Lutterworth.

Jamie Drake hit 63 in a decent total of 184-9, but the hosts reached it with five wickets in hand, despite Callum Smith’s 4 for 31, to leave Barkby 53 points adrift of second-bottom Cropston and 68 points of safety.