Melton Mowbray CC First XI look set to emulate their title-winning Second team after moving within one win of the County League Division Three crown on Saturday.
Hosting Barkby United Seconds on Saturday, Melton won the toss and put the visitors into bat, with Barkby the last team to beat them back in June.
The Barkby openers started well against some excellent bowling from Carel Fourie and Ben Redwood.
But Melton never let the visitors get away for them and took wickets at regular intervals throughout the match.
Mike Roberts and Jamie Tew both picked up three wickets apiece as Barkby were bowled out in the 41st over for 196.
In reply, both Melton openers were out cheaply, but Carel Fourie (51) and James Cusack (31) put together a profitable third-wicket stand.
The hosts then lost four quick wickets before captain Mike Roberts (41 not out) and Ben Redwood took them within touching distance of the total.
Redwood was caught for 14, but Roberts and Pete Humphries hit the winnings runs to wrap up a 14th win from 19 matches, with two overs left.
Defeat for second-placed Barwell against Syston Town Seconds extended Melton’s lead to 55 points, meaning one win from their final three matches will guarantee Melton the title and promotion.
A fitting way for the club to celebrate their 50th anniversary.
The First XI start with a trip to Maher Stars on Saturday.