CRICKET: Willoughby A book promotion back to Division 3 at first attempt

Tom Stevenson was 102 not out in Willoughby's narrow win against Bodicote on Saturday
Tom Stevenson was 102 not out in Willoughby's narrow win against Bodicote on Saturday

Unbeaten maiden century for Stevenson against Bodicote

South Northants Cricket League

Premier Division

Bodicote v Willoughby

Willoughby 205 for 5

Bodicote 107 for 2

Match abandoned – Willoughby won on faster run rate (by 3 runs)

A maiden century for Tom Stevenson went a long way to seeing Willoughby to a narrow win in a rain-affected game at Bodicote.

The youngster’s unbeaten ton formed the basis of the visitors’ total of 205 for 5 they set having lost the toss and been asked to bat.

On a damp pitch, Willoughby lost Manny Sidhu early on before Ashley Rayner (for 6) and Martin Nichols (for 11) both also departed to reduce them to 67 for 3.

However Stevenson, in at four, looked in good touch with Dave Alcock put on a fourth wicket stand of 82 before the latter went for 24.

However Stevenson was now well set and with support from Richard Foxon and then skipper Ben Hollis deservedly reached his century as the visitors’ innings drew to a close; his 102 not out containing 15 boundaries and as one commentator put it was a ‘ well-crafted innings of obdurate defence, deft flicks and no shortage of timing and power’.

Willoughby’s total of 205-5 on an improving wicket would be a test for Bodicote but not insurmountable, however they were soon in early trouble at 20 for 2 as Jake Quinney (2 for 27) cleaned out the stumps of opener Symington and number three bat Allen.

Lee Johnson from the other end typically also kept matters tight with a ten over spell of 0 for 30, but remaining opener Miller and skipper Lawrence weathered that early storm and set about a recovery.

That was until their partnership reached 87 and the rain which had threatened eventually came.

With the score at 107-2 off 24 overs and the game in the balance at this point, the rain became heavier to a point that there was no possibility of a resumption; the upshot being Willoughby were three runs ahead and 0.1 runs ahead on run rate at the corresponding point in the first innings and duly had earned victory.

A valuable 20 points for the visitors gives them a small cushion in their efforts to stay out of the bottom two and retain their Premier Division status with now only two games to go.

Division 4

Willoughby A v Thornborough A

Thornborough A 86 all out

Willoughby A 89 for 0

Willoughby A won by 10 wickets

Willoughby’s 2nd XI made short of work of recording a 10-wicket victory over their visiting Thornborough counterparts and in doing so booked promotion back to Division 3 at the first time of asking.

Needing a win to ensure a top two spot, the hosts did so in comprehensive fashion as having asked the visitors to bat they bowled Thornbrough out for 86; Kamesh Ganti (3 for 9), Sean Thornton (3 for 28), Fergus Deery (3 for 19) and Dan Farrow (1 for 25) doing the damage as only Cox with 23 and Davis in at nine with 15 made it into double figures with the bat.

Willoughby’s reply was more decisive as Keith Gibson and James Goodwin made 49 and 37 not out respectively, seeing the hosts to their target in a little more than 14 overs as skipper Badj Rahman secured promotion in his first year of captaincy to quickly erase any memories of last term’s relegation disappointment.

Club Friendly

Marton v Willoughby

Marton 144 for 7

Willoughby 150 for 4

Willoughby won by 6 wickets

Willoughby completed a winning trio of victories over the weekend as a largely youthful visitors’ side recorded a tidy success at Marton.

In a match reduced to 32 overs, the hosts batted first and made 144 for 7 with Truslove top scoring with 42 and Jay Singh making 28.

Michael Deery standing out with 2 for 14 with the ball for the visitors.

In reply, Willoughby lost Sam Middlemiss (2), dad Derek (11) and Justin Hanks to be reduce to 26 for 3, but the experienced heads of Ashley Rayner and Mark Fell came together to avert any further danger.

Their partnership of 94 steered their charges towards victory with Fell departing when on course for a half-ton for 40. With Marton tiring, Callum Hanks added a quick-fire 20 and with Rayner remaining unbeaten on 72 not out, Willoughby surpassed their target with a six with five overs to spare.

Fixtures: Saturday – 1.30pm start: South Northants Cricket League: Premier Division: Willoughby v Silverstone. Division 4: Wardington v Willoughby A