It is even tougher to be at the top now, says skipper Craven

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Matt Craven reckons he’s taken Kibworth to the top of the toughest division he has played in during his six years at the club.

Kibworth head into the home match with strugglers Kegworth on Saturday having opened up a 22-point gap at the top of the Everards Leicestershire & Rutland League Premier Division.

That’s put them on course to lift the trophy for the second time in three years.

And, according to Craven, the top flight is tougher than it has ever been.

He said: “Going back six or seven years, it was Loughborough, Kibworth and Market Harborough at the top and it was very rare that Loughborough ever lost a game.

“The league is more competitive now.

“There are more teams in with a chance of beating the top sides on their day.

“The gap between the big three and everyone else isn’t there anymore.

“Is the quality at the top the same as it was a few years ago? I think it is and there are more good teams in the division now.

“Lutterworth won the league a few years ago, Sileby are challenging and Barrow are a good team as well.”

Sileby had a winning draw against Lutterworth last weekend and that result enabled Kibworth to open up a good lead at the top with a five-wicket win over Rothley Park, who were bowled out for 186.

Craven said: “We got the result we wanted, but we could have done it a lot more comfortably.

“We shouldn’t have let them get as many runs as they did. We should have restricted them to around 120, but we switched off a bit.

“The wicket was a bit too one paced, so it wasn’t going to be easy to knock off the runs.

“But we got there and have to be happy with where we are. We would have settled for this at the start of the season.”

On Sunday, Kibworth aim to book their place in the final of the Everards League Cup when Enderby are the visitors.

Enderby beat Market Harborough in the last eight.

Kibworth are also through to the semi-finals of the Everards County Cup. They meet Ibstock at Fleckney Road on Sunday, July 26.

Lutterworth host Syston on Saturday and Harborough go into their home match with Hinckley Town boosted by claiming their first win since May.

Kevin Innes took 4-18 as Kegworth were shot out for 84 and Harborough raced to an eight-wicket win.