CRICKET SLIDESHOW: Willoughby batting against Bodicote

Pictures from Saturday's game at The Green

Pictures by Mike Baker

Manny Sidhu made 37 against Bodicote

Manny Sidhu made 37 against Bodicote

South Northants League

Premier Division

Willoughby 190- 6

Bodicote 191- 4

Martin Nichols on his way to 36 on Saturday

Martin Nichols on his way to 36 on Saturday

Bodicote won by 6 wickets

Willoughby are still looking for that elusive victory their performances have deserved after an epic battle at The Green saw the hosts edged out by visitors Bodicote.

The meeting of two of last year’s promoted sides always tend to be closely fought affairs and this was no different as the game fluctuated back and forth with the North Oxfordshire outfit just getting over the line.

In fine conditions, Willoughby opted to bat first having won the toss and saw Martin Nichols and Manny Sidhu get them off to a good start with a first wicket partnership of 87 that took them just past the drinks break.

Ashley Rayner

Ashley Rayner

Despite a loss of their wickets and also Ashley Rayner in quick succession, Tom Stevenson and Richard Foxon rebuilt as Bodicote countered by adding 26 and 20 respectively.

The hosts eventual total of 190 for 6 was competitive despite a feeling that a 200+ score was in the offering.

The visitors’ reply started patiently and had to in the face of the typically economic Lee Johnson and the quicker pace of youngster Jake Quinney.

After tempting the youngster with a couple of chipped half chances, Bodicote’s skipper Lawrence left proceedings temporarily to illness and his replacement Allen was then first to fall to Johnson whose eventual 12 over stint yielded a fine 1-17.

Willoughby XI and Willoughby Exiles at their friendly game on Sunday

Willoughby XI and Willoughby Exiles at their friendly game on Sunday

One Quinney was replaced by another with dad Karl (1- 34) replacing son Jake but the pair combined with Jake taking a fine flying catch to see off the remaining opener Miller after an unspectacular 26.

At drinks, honours were even with the run rate in check and however the introduction of late arrival Lightfoot then changed matters as with teammate Singh the pair set about upping the tempo.

The latter departed to the bowling of John Gregson (1- 28) after one swing too many for 26 but the recovered Lawrence returned and together with Lightfoot edged Bodicote closer until young Quinney (1 for 47 off 12 overs) returned and deservedly picked up a wicket to remove him for 65.

Lawrence however continued the charge and saw the visitors home via a well-timed run chase with seven balls to spare despite the host’s valiant attempts in the field.

Division 4

Braunston Paddox A 59ao

Willoughby A 64 for 7

Willoughby won by 3 wickets

The news was better along the A45 as Willoughby’s second string overcame their counterparts at neighbours Braunston.

The victory was set-up thanks once again to the bowling of some of Willoughby’s youngsters as 15-year-old Dan Farrow and 14-year-old Archie McMillan reduced the hosts to 13- 6, eventually returning figures of 3-11 and 3-15 respectively.

Only Saurabh Garg in at nine made it into double figures making 25no as Kamesh Ganti added to the earlier efforts by taking 3-13 as the hosts were bowled out for 59.

Willoughby’s reply was less than convincing despite Callum Hanks making 17 and Kishan Parmar 12, but despite a mid-order wobble the visitors reached their target with three wickets and plenty of overs in hand ahead of this Saturday’s rematch between the two back at Willoughby. Stephen Nelligan taking 5-22.

Sunday Friendly

Willoughby XI 208- 8

WCC Exiles 209- 5

WCC Exiles won by 5 wickets

Sunday saw the return of many Willoughby faces from the recent past as an Exiles team played out an excellent afternoon’s cricket winning by 5 wickets.

In glorious warm sunny conditions, the Exiles were led by skipper Tom Neville who along with the assembled team came from all corners of the country to re-visit The Green, in most cases returning to their hunting ground for the first time in over 15 years.

A strong crowd greeted their welcome which saw the hosts bat first making a useful 208 for 8. Ashley Rayner top scored with 49, with contributions also coming from Adam Whitfield (34), Rees Moor and Ben Hollis (29 respectively) and Ryan Perry (20). The Exiles’ bowling saw Jonny Cumiskey return figures of 3 for 51, with Vinay Chhana (2 for 29), Mike Curtis (2 for 37) and Duncan Yeadon (1 for 37) also in on the act.

In reply, The Exiles were soon on the back foot losing Neil Jones, Mitesh Chhana and Craig Hughes early on and the home side sensing victory. However one of the more local Exiles contingent James Rowland came in to steady the ship and ultimately saw his side to victory thanks to a fine century.

He dominated the innings and recovered matters to pass 50 and set up a thrilling run chase in the last 20 overs. Despite losing Cumiskey and Karl Harland, Rowlands found a more than able ally in Neville as the pair came together at 70 for 5, and with a combination of well-placed drives and some hard-hitting chipped away at the total, eventually reaching the target with three overs to spare. Rowland’s 103 not out containing 13 boundaries and four sixes, with Neville’s unbeaten 58 having five fours and two sixes. With the ball, Archie MicMillan took 2 for 35 and Callum Hanks 2 for 48.

Fixtures:

Thursday – 6.30pm: Rugby and District Cricket League: Under 15 KO Cup Semi-Final: Willoughby v Long Itchington.

Saturday – 1.30pm: South Northants Premier Division: Silverstone v Willoughby. Division 4: Willoughby A v Braunston Paddox A.

Sunday – 2pm: Club Friendly: Bourton & Frankton v Willoughby