CRICKET: Willoughby beaten in tight finish

Willoughby A - pictured earlier this month - beat Maids Moreton on Saturday

Willoughby A - pictured earlier this month - beat Maids Moreton on Saturday

But big win for the ‘A’ team

South Northants Cricket League

Division 1

Radway v Willoughby

Willoughby 127 for 7

Radway 128 for 7

Radway won by 3 wickets

Willoughby suffered a second successive defeat on the road as they fell to a three wicket defeat at Radway

Having lost the toss, the visitors were inserted to bat first and faced a very wet outfield and long grass in their pursuit of setting the hosts a decent target.

Those aims were not helped by the loss of an early wicket as Radway bowlers got their length correct before letting the pitch do the rest, with many balls totally unplayable.

Willoughby’s second wicket fell with 60 on the board in 29th over with Ian Andrews going after making a well-crafted and patient innings of 22.

The Three ‘H’s of Hughes, Hall, Hallam all then came in and fell cheaply in the hunt for boundaries, emphasising the great work by Andrews and Ashley Rayner in the conditions before them.

Rayner eventually went for 42 which left young Tom Stevenson making an unbeaten 27 not out and Ryan Perry to get the visitors into three figures and eventually to 127 to secure two batting points.

With a damp ball to bowl with in the second inning, early wickets were a must and they did arrive, with Stevenson and Nick Crane each making a breakthrough at each end, the surface coming to their aid with balls jumping of a length and seeing catches taken behind the wicket.

Whilst Stevenson bowled a great seven over spell of 2 for 24, one partnership was always going to see the host get close to the target and it arrived for the fifth wicket.

It took the drinks break for it to be broken as Rayner got the big hitting number four in his first over, with one end open spirits were lifted but with few runs to play with it was going to be a tight finish.

The old adage of one brings two worked again with Rayner striking once more on the way to figures of 3 for 8, with Dave Alcock also claiming a further scalp.

At 120 for 7 Radway were on the ropes, but sadly the miracle did not arrive as they managed to get over the line with three wickets in the hutch.

Division 3

Willoughby A v Maids Moreton

Willoughby A 184 for 6

Maids Moreton 59 all out

Willoughby A won by 125 runs

The outcome was better at The Green where Willoughby A accounted for visitors Maids Moreton in comprehensive fashion.

Having lost the toss, the hosts had a wet wicket to contend with and started cautiously with Martin Nichols bringing all his experience to the fore in the opening 10 overs.

After the loss of Sean Thornton, Kamesh Ganti came to the crease and with Nichols proceeded to increase the run rate before Ganti fell caught and bowled for 38. Skipper Ben Hollis then made 24 as Willoughby’s target of somewhere around 140 and beyond looked in sight. With that achieved, Manny Sidhu and Nichols had free rein in the closing overs taking the hosts to an eventual 184 for 6. Nichols finishing with a fine 51 not out.

In reply, Maids Moreton were soon in trouble both on run rate and with wickets down as Troy Reeves continued his recent form. He took 4 for 16 and along with Antony Franks proving equally miserly at the other end, any hopes the visitors had of chasing down the total were nullified well before drinks.

John Gregson then came on and proceeded to take three wickets for only four runs before Karl Quinney wrapped things up with two wickets – aided by a fine catch by Thornton in the deep, as Maids Moreton were bowled out for 59, some 125 runs adrift.

Fixtures

Thursday – 6.30pm starts

Rugby & District Cricket League

Under 15 League: Willoughby v Long Itchington

Under 11 League

Hunningham v Willoughby

Friday – 6pm start

Warwickshire Youth Cricket League

Under 12 Pairs League – Group 3: Willoughby v Kenilworth Wardens

Saturday – 2pm starts

South Northants Cricket League

Division 1: Willoughby v MK Afro Caribbean

Division 3: Gawcott & Hillesden v Willoughby A