Warwickshire Cricket League
Rugby CC 1st XI 73 for 5 (20 points) beat Ansley CC 1st XI 70 all out (2 points)
An ultimately dominant penultimate performance despite a little blip from Matt Ewer’s men, as Ewer’s pace and movement tore apart the Ansley batting line up, clean bowling four batsmen in a match winning bowling spell of 12-7-12-6, supported by Riv Monsell (8-1-25-0), Owen Edwards (6-2-8-1) and Raj Chohan (9-2-23-2).
Ansley slumped from 60 for 3 to 70 all out to see the Nuneaton club struggling to stay in division 1.
Ewer’s final over saw him achieve the rare feat of four wickets in an over, as the first two and final two balls saw Ansley lose their last four wickets with the score at a mere 70.
Ewer’s 6 for 12 his best bowling performance of the season, taking his impressive league tally to 66 wickets at less than 9 runs each.
In reply there was some serious nail biting as some unwise shots saw Rugby’s top order collapse to 38 for 5 with only Raj Chohan (19) making double figures as Ed Benfield (6), Stuart Lloyd (4), Owen Edwards (1) and Dave McKenzie (5) all gave catches whilst trying to be positive in the often nervous low total run chase.
It took Ewer to cap an all-round performance (19 not out) and Alex Smith (10 not out) in support to allay fears and take Rugby to victory- and the title of league champions – in the 17th over.
20 Points for RCC and a deserved Division 1 winners place after brilliantly maintaining a big lead over the other hopefuls and staying top throughout the 2012 season.
Rugby will end the season with a home game with an enjoyable home fixture against an always competitive Barby CC.
Warwickshire Cricket league
Division 2 2nd XIs
Rugby CC 2nd XI 275 for 9 (17 points) drew with Ansley CC 2nd XI 142 for 7 (7 points)
Greeted by the first really hard track of the season with a hot afternoon in prospect, skipper Keith Bradbury had no hesitation in batting first.
Evergreen openers Chris Evans and Alan Milsom took advantage of some wayward early bowling and a lightning outfield to post 25 in 5 overs before Milsom was LBW for 15.
Glynn Tapp smashed three fours before holing out, and it was Bradbury joining Evans that turned the game in Rugby’s favour, as the two added 114 in 20 overs, with Evans in particularly fine form, cutting and driving to all parts as passed 50 with nine boundaries.
Bradbury made a confident 50 before Hugh Cochrane(34) found some form. Evans continued to run the Ansley boys ragged, sailing to a brilliant century in the 38th over, having hit 13 fours and two sixes in a great display of technique and stamina.
The veteran opener has made 494 runs in only ten innings for the 2nds in 2012. When he was eventually bowled for 115, Rugby were at a commanding 253 for 5 from 44 overs.
Drew Koria deserves a mention for a beautiful off drive for four to end the innings at an impressive 275 for 9.
Needing to take five Ansley wickets to guarantee 2nd league place and promotion, Rugby missed several early sharp chances as old Ansley adversary Andy Davies smashed 50 out of the first 63 runs. However, Matt Hinks (13-3-41-0) and Rubans Sugartharubans (9-4-27-1) weathered the early storm to restrict Ansley to 66 for 1 from 20 and banish any thoughts of a successful run chase.
A special mention for Glynn Tapp, whose awesome throwing arm ran out a rampant Davies for 50 with a direct hit from deep cover.
Good stuff from Adam Milsom (6-0-20-1) and Drew Koria (6-2-11-1) saw Ansley slip to 70 for 3, but it was the occasional spin of Hugh Cochrane (9-3-14-3) who earned another two bowling points, tantalising the Ansley middle order with flights of fancy, with Ed Pell and Henry Parker taking two close catches each.
Whether winning the league or coming runners-up, skipper Keith Bradbury can take great credit for engendering a great team spirit, with the team always committed to 50 overs of hard graft, and runs and wickets shared between players.
The final game of the season sees Rugby needing 24 points to claim the winners spot, as they travel to play fourth placed Bournville.