CRICKET: Rugby CC

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Another victory consolidates second place

Warwickshire Cricket League Premier Division

Rugby CC 1st XI 131 for 2 beat Fillongley 1st XI 130 all out

Rugby cruised to an eight-wicket victory on Saturday to consolidate their second-place position in the Premier League table. This result continues a superb run of form with Rugby having collected four victories and a winning draw from their last five outings.

Set deep into the Warwickshire countryside, visiting the picturesque Fillongley ground on a sunny day is a pleasure that all clubs in the league look forward to, and it is renowned for high-scoring cricket. It was therefore a little surprising that RCC skipper Matt Ewer won the toss and chose to field first but, given the wet weather of the preceding days, it was calculated that anything in the wicket to favour the bowlers would manifest itself early doors. This decision was immediately rewarded when Ewer trapped Aaron Blackmore lbw with the first ball of the match and it was soon clear that the pitch would not be the batting paradise it is known for. The ball did not come onto the bat, frequently sticking in the pitch, and this limited the hosts’ attacking options, and allowed the new ball pairing of Ewer and Owen Edwards (10-5-15-1) to exert a tight control.

Fillongley batsman Phil Hammond (27) did his best to resist the Rugby attack and helped progress Fillongley to 40 for 1, but three wickets fell for five runs and his side never recovered. Spin twins Steve Ward (12-4-23-2) and Raj Chohan (7-2-22-2) continued the seamers’ impressive and miserly work, with Ward particularly effective at tying the batsmen down. The irrepressible Ewer (13.3-4-33-5) then returned to mop up the tail with his third five-wicket haul of the season, taking his tally to 28 victims so far this summer. Fillongley slumped to 130 all out in another satisfying performance from Rugby’s bowling attack.

After tea Fillongley were buoyed as their captain Steve Gardener bowled Chohan (3) with the score on 11, but any optimism soon disappeared. The in-form Owen Edwards joined Charlie Robards at the crease and the batsmen were able to score freely with the run rate consistently around six an over.

Fillongley attempted to prise out another wicket by using six bowlers but it did not come and both players reached trouble-free half centuries. It was Robards’ second 50 in a row, continuing his good form since returning to the top of the order, while Edwards also passed 50 for the fourth Saturday on the run.

The pair had added 119 for the second wicket when Robards (58) fell with the scores level, but George Mackenzie hit the winning runs to add to the three catches he had taken earlier in the day. Edwards ended unbeaten with 64 from 49 balls and is now the division’s leading run scorer with 427 runs so far.

League leaders Sutton Coldfield picked up a winning draw to maintain their distance at the top of the table, but, 27 points behind, Rugby head the chasing pack and host bottom club Highway next Saturday.

Rugby CC 2nd XI 183 for 9 drew with Old Edwardians CC 2nd XI 226 all out.

The second team managed to hold on for a losing draw as visitors Old Eds accumulated a decent 226 at Webb Ellis Road on Saturday. In reply, Rugby’s innings was held together by a brilliant 100 from Mohammad Sadiq. The 11 points gained see Rugby in joint fifth place.

Rugby CC 3rd XI 137 for 3 beat Knowle Village CC 3rd XI 136 for 8.

An important win for Rugby CC 3rds against mid-placed Knowle Village, as Rugby maintain their runners up spot in the 3rd XI and single team 1st Division East.

Knowle managed 138 for 8 against some good RCC bowling with Andy Ward (8-0-23-3), Sujahn Barhey (7-0-23-2), Ryan Littlejohn (7-0-21-1) and skipper Andy Attwell (6-0-14-1) in the wickets. In reply there were few alarms after openers Ash Koria (28) and Suj Barhey (31) wiped out half of the target, and Billy Burton (26 not out) and Nik Sona (26 not out) completed an easy win within 37 overs.