UTTOXETER beat Rosehill Methodists away to keep up their charge for promotion from Division Six South of the Derbyshire County League.
With Ockbrook 3rds also winning, it was vital that the Town beat mid-table Meths – and they matched Ockbrook’s 27 points to stay 14 ahead of the Derby side in the race to reach Division Five.
Stand-in skipper Mike Skelham was not too disappointed to lose the toss and be asked to bat first.
Ashley Young and Ian Bailey opened the innings and got off to a good start, with Young finding the boundary in the first over with a powerful cut for four.
Bailey seemed in dominant mood as he started to find his feet with some exquisite timing.
Rosehill made the breakthrough when Young was well caught at slip by Asad Batt off the bowling of Shahid Mahmood.
Bailey was joined at the crease by Mick Hall, who once again seemed to hit the ground running, finding his timing and the boundary.
Bailey and Hall were batting well together until the former missed a straight one and was trapped lbw by Mahmood after making an aggressive 28.
Tony Hayes was next in and he took over the mantle of aggressor, hitting some fluent shots through the covers for four.
It was a change of bowling though that did the trick as Hall played on for a well-made 25 - his frustrations were clear as this was not the first time he has got out this season after doing all the hard work.
Gavin Hall replaced his dad and played a very watchful innings, happy to give the strike to Hayes, who was starting to flay the bowling to all parts, crashing a powerful flat six over square leg.
As the field spread for Hayes he took on one shot too many and was caught by Richard Purdy on the long-off boundary from the bowling of Tom Dalby.
Adam Johnson was next in and he instantly found the middle of his bat, piercing the boundary with regularity.
He quickly raced to 50 with some powerful shot and was strongly supported by Marcus Mellor, James Burton and Steve Wilde, who struck a rapid fire 21.
Johnson (82) eventually went for one big one too many after lifting three big sixes and Uttoxeter ended with a superb score of 237, being bowled out in the last over.
After tea, buoyed by his earlier success, Johnson started in lively fashion bowling down the hill.
He flattened the stumps of both openers without them troubling the scorers to leave Meths 0-2.
Skelham managed to find the edge of the danger man Nahim Abas first ball, with Mick Hall taking the catch behind the stumps.
Uttoxeter were flying and the home team’s scoreboard was in disarray 7-3. This was made worse when Johnson found the edge of captain James Sharpe’s bat, with Hayes taking a fine catch in the slips to leave them 9-4.
Skelham then bowled two superb overs at Batt, getting him to play and miss almost every ball, with Johnson frustrated at the other end by Imran Hussain, who was finding the fence with some streaky shots.
Johnson soon cleaned up Batt with a yorker and after a little cameo from Mahmood (23), Skelham had his second victim after an excellent catch from Mick Hall.
After looking very unsure at the start of his innings, Hussain grew in confidence, much to the annoyance of the Town, who had everything going their way until he came to the crease.
Skelham decided to attack the other end and it was not long before the breakthrough came with a superb run out from Mellor at square leg.
Johnson finished with 4-40 and was replaced by Wilde, who quickly found the edge to Johnson at third slip to leave Meths 112-8.
Steve Brookes replaced Skelham and instantly dropped on a superb line and length, extracting some turn from the dry pitch.
But it was Wilde who struck again, clean bowling Suhaib Saqib before a run out came as a result of Hussain trying to retain the strike.
Uttoxeter had won by a clear margin, dismissing the home side for 134 inside 30 overs, and remain just 15 points adrift of leaders Yoxall after their win, with a game in hand.