Resurgent Thorpe Arnold were at it again on Saturday as they held their nerve to record another narrow County League win on Saturday.
After a winless first six weeks of the season, Thorpe have risen from the bottom of Division Two up to sixth place, and within 40 points of the promotion places.
On Saturday they pipped Ibstock Town by just two runs to record their sixth win in their last seven matches - a sequence in which they have also twice won by a single wicket.
Mark Starkey was Saturday’s hero as his knock of 75 proved the lynchpin of the home side’s 201-9, with good support from opener Kingsley Miller (38) and Chris Waldron (22).
Ibstock opener James Sharp held the reply together with 90, but tight bowling, particularly from Waldron (2 for 33 from 10 overs) and James Pepperdine (2 for 40 from 12), and three wickets from Myles Hickman restricted the visitors to 199-8.
In contrast, Egerton Park’s tough run of results continued following their blistering start.
Away at Hinckley Amateur, Park’s bowlers did well to restrict the runaway leaders for the second time this season.
Rakesh Seecharan took 3 for 20 from 12 miserly overs, while Kamal Panchal took 4 for 40 as Hinckley posted 169-9 from their 45 overs.
Panchal and Tom Glover (31) guided their reply to 61-1, but both fell without adding a further run.
Park were then unable to build another substantial partnership - despite 21 from Stuart Rose – as the visitors were bowled out for 140 with three overs in hand.
The Melton side, who have lost four of their last six matches, remain third, but are now 74 points behind the top side, and 19 adrift of second-placed Kirby Muxloe.
* In Division Three, Melton Mowbray lost further ground on the pacesetters as they slipped to a tight seven-run defeat at home to third-placed Hinckley Town.
The visitors posted 226 from their 35 overs, and despite 105 from Potter, Melton were bowled out for 219 on the final ball of the innings.
Barkby United Second XI moved up to fourth and into the promotion frame after Martin Troop’s 69, backed up by 4 for 31 by Moore, gave them a 35-run win at Bardon Hill.
* Thorpe Arnold’s Second XI suffered only their second defeat of the season at Blaby Village to see their lead in Division Six East cut to 16 points.
Lewis Humphreys hit 57 and Richard Garner made 20, but the visitors were bowled out for 145, a total the lowly home side knocked off in 30 overs for the fall of just two wickets.
* And in Division Nine East, Melton Seconds were bowled out for 105 in less than 30 overs on their way to a five-wicket reverse at GNG who chased their target inside 18 overs.