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Old Leysians earn seventh promotion in 11 years with top two spot in Cambs & Hunts Premier League

Old Leysians Cricket Club have earned promotion to the Cambs & Hunts Premier League, Division One. Picture: John Welch (50693151)
Old Leysians Cricket Club have earned promotion to the Cambs & Hunts Premier League, Division One. Picture: John Welch (50693151)

Old Leysians have clinched a seventh promotion in 11 years after finishing second in the Whiting & Partners Cambs & Hunts Premier League, Division Two.

They went into the match away at Kimbolton with their fate in their own hands, and earned a seven-wicket win.

Having won the toss and elected to field, they bowled out their hosts for 154. Gus Barraclough took four for 28 and Andrew Gale claimed three for 20.

Gale then made an unbeaten 79, off 71 balls, and Adam Newman struck 42 as Old Leysians got home for the loss of just three wickets to seal promotion.

Club captain John Welch said: “We started off the season really poorly and were also victims of inclement weather, losing three games and having two abandoned. This clearly was not ideal, but also not alien to us as it seems to be the blueprint of most previous seasons, due to availability mainly, so we were still confident we could climb the table.

“Milan Mniszko kept the team tight and positive and we went on the most amazing run, with a blueprint of batting first and making sure we set a good platform to work from and bat the whole 50 overs. We then backed our spin-heavy attack, especially at home, to do the job and defend totals.

“Andy Gale and Milan were exceptional with the bat and the whole bowling department, led by Adam Newman, bowled beautifully throughout the season.

“When the club was set up, our ambition was to get to Division One and it feels amazing to get there after seven promotions in 11 years.

“Issy Routledge and Andrew Bramley have joined us this season which ensures we are continuing to look after the future of the club, by bringing in high-quality younger players. It feels like we have the perfect blend within the squad to hopefully have a great crack at all the quality clubs in the top league.”

He added: “The spirit of the team is our greatest asset and to play cricket week in, week out, with such a great group of people is a fantastic thing and everyone is already looking forward to the challenges that next year will bring.”

Also in Division Two, Foxton suffered a 114-run defeat at Ufford Park.

Andy Larkin top-scored with 40 as Ufford Park made 236 for 8, as Amrthya Chandrappa took three

for 25.

Nigel Gadsby made 32 as Foxton were all out for 122.

In Division Three, Burwell & Exning suffered an eight-wicket defeat to Orton Park.

Gareth Summerskill (35) and Wayne Hardy (34) helped Burwell & Exning to 108 all out, but Orton Park chased down the target for the loss of only two wickets.

Histon will face Eaton Socon in the Whiting & Partners Cambs & Hunts Premier League, Division One play-off final after a dominant 10-wicket win over Foxton.

Histon had finished second in the table, with Foxton in third, and it was the hosts that won the toss and put Foxton into bat.

Captain Alex Hooley was the anchor of their innings, with the opener eventually being the ninth batsman to fall.

He put on 48 for the first wicket with Adam Webster (24), and 42 with Alex Maynard (15) for the fourth wicket, but they could not forge any other substantial stands.

Hooley was eventually out for 77 as Foxton set a target of 160 all out.

John Turner took out the top three, finishing with four for 25 off eight overs, while Kieren Mackenzie took out the middle order to claim three for 35.

Mackenzie and Yousuf Choudhary then teamed up to take Histon home inside 19 overs without losing a wicket.

Mackenzie hit an unbeaten 76 off 63 balls, and Choudhary smashed 73 not out off 51.

Eaton Socon beat Wisbech Town by 93 runs in the other semi-final.

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