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LEAGUE & CUP

Kibworth cricket clubs league history could have been very different had the clubs playing standards not dropped during the 1960's. However when the Central league was formed in 1968 by several of the clubs traditional top opponents, Kibworth were not in a position to join, even if they had really wanted to be. As a result KCC did not embrace league cricket until 1974 when they became founder members of the Leicestershire Club Cricket League which was formed when eight clubs who already played regular friendlies against each other decided that these fixtures would now be awarded 6 points for a win, 4 for a winning draw and 2 for a losing draw. In 1992 the league was renamed the Leicestershire County Cricket League. Originally the league was organised in separate first and second team leagues and the clubs first ever title was won by the second XI in 1976. Divisions were amalgamated into a single league with four divisions in 1984 but without promotion and relegation between Division 2 (first teams) and Division 3 (second teams). Again it was the second team who won the clubs only title under this structure being crowned Division 4 champions in 1986. 

In 1989 the league was expanded to give six Divisions but again with the First and Second teams separated. The 2nd’s won Division 5 in 1989 and two years later the 1st XI finally won a league title when they were crowned champions of Division 2. In 1994 the Division 1 title was finally Kibworth’s after 20 years of trying and when in 1997 it was renamed the Premier Division Kibworth became the second title holders.

A further expansion in 1999 brought the total number of Divisions to eight and the first team twice won the Premier Division under this structure in 2000 and 2001. Finally in 2003 the Divisions were opened up to allow mixing between first and second XI’s  and the 2nd team took immediate advantage of the new rule by winning Division 4. Two years later they were Champions of Division 3 and in 2006 won Division 2 to become the first second team to climb to the heights of Division 1. Meanwhile the 1st’s won titles in 2004 and 2006 to bring their total of top Division triumphs to six, five of those within the last ten years. Six fallow years would follow before 2013 when Kibworth won the final ever Leicestershire County Cricket League title before the amalgamation with the Senior and Leicestershire leagues to form the Leicestershire & Rutland cricket league.

With an ever expanding junior section adding to the size of the membership it was decided in 2002 that a Saturday 3rd team was required. With no option of including such a side in the Everard's league structure the club opted to join the newly amalgamated Northamptonshire Cricket League. Promotion from Division 10 in 2003 was imediately followed by relegation but in 2005 the side claimed 3rd place to be promoted once again. This time the following season resulted in another promotion to Division 8 and in 2007 the side made it three in a row by finishing second behind Grendon & Primms to be elevated to Division 7. A fourth successive promotion followed in 2008 as Grendon once again beat them to the title, this time by just four points and 2009 saw the sequence extended to five as the side came third in Division 6. The side came second in Division 5 in 2011 and two years later won Division 4 by two points thanks to a final day victory.

2006 saw the club launch a 4th team as a friendly side but when that autumn an opportunity arose to join the newly formed NCL Division 13 it was accepted. The young side proved their worth in only their second season when they finished third to win promotion and then stormed to the Division 12 title the following year. However the introduction of an Ninth division to the LCCL for 2010 prompted the decision to move the side back into Leicestershire cricket. A young side gained their first promotion in 2012.

Kibworth did not make their entry into a national competition until 1997 when they joined the ECB National Club Championship. Trips to places such as Rotherham were greatly enjoyed but the club failed to get past the group stage until 2004 when they beat Frocester in what was by now called the Cockspur Cup. A run of home games in the national stages culminated in a semi final victory over High Wycombe and a first ever trip to Lord's where they confortably beat Ottbrook & Borrowash. After failing to get beyond the group phase in the following two seasons they then made their second trip to Lord's in 2007 losing off the last ball to Bromley. This loss was happily forgotten the following year when, after a washout at Lord's, Andy Smith's side beat Maldon Wanderers in a replay at Southgate.

The club entered the Leicestershire County Cup from the mid 70's but did not make the final until 1994 when they were beaten by Cropston in Peter Booth’s final game as skipper. Twelve months later they were back, beating Earl Shilton in a replay at Ivanhoe after the Grace Road final had been washed out. The club has since reached four further finals, winning in 2002, 2004 and 2012 and losing to Loughborough Town in 2005.

Kibworth have won the league Sunday cup on six occasions in 1994, 2003, 2007, 2010, 2012 and 2013 and were also winners for the first two league 20:20 competitions in 2006 and 2007. In 2006 the second XI made the final of the 2nd team Sunday cup for the first time when they were defeated by Market Harborough. Sadly a second final in 2008 brought a similar result but twelve months later the team did triumph by beating Leicester Ivanhoe in the final at Ibstock.

Evening cup competitions did not play a prominent part in the clubs programme until the 1960's and only the Market Harborough Cup was entered prior to this. The club did reach one final in this competition in the 1950's, losing to Rockingham, and also lost out to Stoneygate in the 1967 Everards cup final but success evaded the club until the 1980's.