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Four out of four in pre-season friendlies

Rugby CC 1st XI (296 for 4) vs Aston Unity CC (91 all out) . RCC won by 205 runs.

Rugby CC enjoyed their final warm-up games for the 2011 league season with convincing wins by both 1st and 2nd XIs. This follows big wins in the previous two weeks, as a Rugby XI beat Quinton CC last weekend, the town making 284 for 1 from 40 overs, with young opener Raj Chohan top scoring with 59 (retired), Mohammad Sadiq 58 (retired), Chris Evans 50, Stuart Lloyd 38 (retired) and Hug Cochrane 38 not out.

In reply, Quinton fought hard but were dismissed for 204, with Jamie Barker taking 2 for 37 on RCC debut, Alan Milsom 2 for 19 and Mo Sadiq 2 for 32. Special mention for Adam Milsom who bowled brilliantly but with the kind of bowling bad luck that seems to plague his Father.

On Saturday Rugby were able to put out a strong 22, allowing the 1st XI to host new league arrivals Aston Unity CC. Lee James and Alex Smith steadily accumulated against a friendly attack, with Smith retiring after making 52, whilst James christened his big new tats as he powered onto a fine 100. Stu Lloyd hit a couple of big sixes in his 44, Ed Benfield whacked 19 and Mo Sadiq smashed 20 off the last two overs to end on 27 not out. Rugby ended their 40 overs on 296 for 4.

With only three first teamers in the side, Aston Unity were always going to struggle despite the typically true Webb Ellis Road wicket. Club Captain Matt Ewer soon bowled opener Brookes with a good one for 6, then had no.3 Yates well caught by the buckets of Alex Smith. At the pavilion end there was some sharp aggression from welcome new quickie George McKenzie (5-2-19-0).

When Broughton was then run out by a sharp Ed Benfield for 2, the visitors were in the mire at 42 for 3 from 11 overs.

Matt Hinks got the ball to wobble in the cross-wind and bowled Kirk for 1 before yorking opener Southam for a decent 38. No other Aston batsman made double figures as Hinks (5-1-20-3), Ewer (5-1-17-2) and the tweak of Sadiq (2-0-5-2) ran through the Aston batting line up to see the visitors all out for 91 from 24 overs. There was also a tantalising look at the big leg spinners of new signing George McKenzie.

Rugby CC 2nd XI (273 all out) beat Four Oaks Saints 2nd XI (231 for 6). Rugby won by 42 runs.

Away at Four Oaks Saints, Rugby CC’s 2nd XI made an important statement of intent as they won by 42 runs, with the Rugby batsmen making another big total (273 all out).

All-rounder Henry Parker top scored with 60 not out , whilst opener Raj Chohan scored 58, Kash Choudry 35 with eight fours, Tom Binding 16, Ash Koria 13 and son Drew Koria outdoing his Dad by whacking a fine 20 not out batting at no.11. Four Oaks couldn’t match Rugby’s scoring rate and made 231 for 6, with Glynn Tapp (9-1-41-1), Drew Koria (5-0-31-0), Adam Milsom (6-1-24-2), Yuvraj Chohan (4-0-26-0), Raj Chohan (9-0-28-2) and Hugh Cochrane (4-0-25-1) all bowling well to make the run chase difficult.

Next week sees the 2011 Warwickshire Cricket League season officially begin, with the Town playing Massey Ferguson CC, the firsts hoping to repeat their huge scores as they host the first game. Club nets are every Friday evening, junior nets are Monday evenings at Rugby School and the Kwik Cricket sessions continue every Sunday morning. People are always welcome to contact the club through the ecb’s play-cricket website or through the ‘Rugby Cricket Club’ facebook page.

Club Captain Matt Ewer is very encouraged by the town club’s last few years of development, and sees 2011 as the season to back up the success off the field with the right results on the field:

“ I genuinely think I’m seeing the club as strong as it has been for years. It’s really exciting to see the youngsters we have supported coming through as potentially regular 1st team cricketers, and the new strength and depth in the club will see much more competition for places, which is exactly how it should be. We also have three or four new signings who will be available later in the season who have come to us through our links with Rugby school 1st XI.

“It’s a great time to be RCC Club Captain and the support we are getting from members, friends and family is phenomenal.

“The Kwik Cricket initiative is great fun and is already recruiting new talent and it’s great to see so many youngsters enjoying being part of the club. I want to say a big thanks to everyone helping us out and I hope we can reward them with some titles this season!”