Grantham and Melton Cricket Association: Queniborough close on to title double

Action from last month's game between Division Two champions Queniborogh and runners-up Egerton Park EMN-150909-091709002
Action from last month's game between Division Two champions Queniborogh and runners-up Egerton Park EMN-150909-091709002
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Queniborough First XI moved to within a win of completing a landmark league title double for the club on Sunday.

The club’s Second XI wrapped up the Division Two title with a game to spare after victory at Frisby, Hoby and Rotherby, while the Firsts took a giant stride towards the Division One crown.

They overwhelmed rivals Belvoir by 196 runs to end the visitors’ challenge and move themselves within 13 points of leaders Houghton with a game in hand.

Having won the toss and batted first, Zuber Patel top scored with 81 while Imran Malji and Ateeq Ur Rehman chipped in with half-centuries as Queniborough racked up an imposing 319-7 from their 40 overs.

Belvoir had started the day in second, just ahead of their hosts, but were on the back foot from the start of their reply.

Under pressure to keep up with a steep run rate, the visitors crumbled to 123 all out inside 20 overs.

Queniborough now just need victory from their final game at home to mid-table Grantham on Sunday (1pm) to snatch the title from under Houghton’s noses.

Ashby Carington lost the chance to leapfrog Belvoir into third when they were comfortably beaten in their final game at home to Grantham.

Visiting skipper David Whapplington won the toss and batted first, a decision which bore fruit as both openers Daniel Freeeman (85) and Stewart Mudie (93) put on a colossal first-wicket stand.

Whapplington chipped in with 58 and Rohan Nurse added a quickfire unbeaten 42 as Grantham made 313-6 from their 40 overs against nine-man Ashby despite 4 for 59 from Chris Palmer.

In reply, Ashby lost both openers cheaply to Louis Greetham before John Ainsworth (53) and captain Anthony Devenish (40) gave the hosts hope. But they fell well behind the asking rate and were bowled out for 174.

* In Division Two, Queniborough Second XI beat Egerton Park to the Division Two title with a 54-run win at Frisby.

The visitors won the toss and batted first, but were soon in trouble as Angus Wilbourne (2 for 48) removed both openers.

David Iliffe (4 for 20) and Charles Hogg (3 for 27) also had Queniborough in trouble with five of the top six failing to reach double figures.

But lower order contributions from Nilesh Patel (20), William Vamplew (43 not out) and Jim Payne (35) helped them post 164.

Frisby’s reply got off to an equally shaky start before Iliffe (22) and Matt Lacey (32) gave them hope. But Hayden Whittaker (4 for 14) blasted through the middle and lower orders, restricting the home side to 110-9.

Queniborough end their season at Ashby Carington Seconds on Sunday.

* Whissendine moved top of Division Three as they ended their season with an emphatic 10-wicket win over Grantham Seconds to seal promotion.

Mark Starkey shone with the ball, taking 4 for 11, supported by Andrew Bates (2 for 18) and Andy Clift-Hill (2 for 3) as the away side were skittled for just 111.

Wicketkeeper Ben Edwards (63 not out) and Mark Childs (43 not out) saw Whissendine home without loss with 16 overs to spare.

But third-placed Sholay can still win the title, and deny Thorpe Arnold promotion, if they win their two games in hand at Grantham on Sunday, and Croxton Kerrial on September 20.