CRICKET: Willoughby prepare for league season

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After defeats in their two warm-up matches against Southam and Leamington Khalsa (see club website for reports), Willoughby begin their 2011 South Northants Cricket League campaigns this Saturday.

The shake-up of the promotion and relegation issues from last term promises to offer another interesting season for both the 1st XI in Division 1 and the 2nd XI – or Willoughby ‘A’, in Division 3.

The 1st XI begin the new term with a visit from Bodicote to the Green, who will be looking to bounce back to the Premier Division at the first time of asking. The prospect of another tight division is enhanced by Middleton Cheney and Northampton Grange Park making their debuts in Division 1 having worked their way through the lower divisions in recent years and no doubt will be keen to impress. Neighbours and local rivals Dunchurch & Bilton will provide stiff competition and two local derby clashes, with Preston Capes, old adversaries Stoneleigh, and the unpredictable Afro Caribean all making for a competitive line-up.

In Division 3, Willoughby ‘A’ travel to Gawcott & Hillesden for their opening encounter and in addition to Saturday’s opener can equally expect a tough examination from some well established sides and those making their way up the divisional ladder. Alongside the likes of the experienced Finmere, Croughton and Wardington outfits, newly promoted Charlton will be a particularly tough proposition, whilst the likes of Marston St Lawrence and Preston Capes’ second strings have made for good encounters in recent seasons.

A reminder for all players that the normal Monday Night Club Night/Net Practice is cancelled for next week only; due to the bank holiday and then the U13s in action the following evening. ‘Normal service’ will be resumed for all senior and U15 players on Monday, May 9 – 6.30pm till dusk