CRICKET: Willoughby take heart from performances against top sides

Willoughby
Willoughby

Club friendly with Lutterworth on Sunday

South Northants League
Premier Division
Charlton 256 for 6
Willoughby 215 for 8
Charlton won by 41 runs

A spirited batting performance from Willoughby was not quite enough to save them from defeat at home to another of the early Premier Division pacesetters.
Batting first, the visitors recovered from an early loss to build momentum in their innings and post a more than challenging total of 256-6 off their 40 overs. Hussain and Ali made 39 and 29 respectively at the top of the order but it was Ryan Knight’s 98no which proved the mainstay of the Charlton innings.
Gul (32) and Jabbar (22no) added further weight in the closing overs as WCC skipper Ben Hollis emerged with figures of 3-52.
In reply, Willoughby were in no mood to accept defeat and an opening partnership of 69 between Hassan Nawaz and Ian Andrews signalled their intent.
Nawaz was joined by Ashley Rayner to take the hosts up to three figures before the former departed for 49.
Two further quick wickets failed to halt the hosts’ progress as Richard Foxon joined Rayner and they put on 60 but Rayner’s departures for 38 then saw the middle to lower unable to take on the charge.
Foxon was the eighth and last wicket to fall after a fine knock of 60 as Charlton closed the remaining overs down to win by 41 runs.
Despite the defeat, Willoughby can take plenty of heart and confidence from their recent performances which have been all against the top three sides in the division who will be in the running for the title.

Division 4
Willoughby A 104 for 9
Flecknoe 105 for 2
Flecknoe won by 8 wickets

Willoughby’s first visit to neighbours and friends Flecknoe for several years ended in defeat for the club’s second XI. On a good looking pitch in perfect warm conditions, winning the coin toss was always going to be crucial. The hosts wisely opted to bowl first and were rewarded with an early wicket which set the tone for the afternoon.
Makeshift opener James Goodwin’s 25 was the only positive contribution as the top order slumped to 45-6 at drinks in the face of at times some tidy home bowling.
Stand-in WCC skipper Ryan Perry offered some rearguard action along with 15-year-old Dan Farrow and latterly 14-year-old Rees Moor who, in only his second senior appearance, played an excellent patient innings to at least see the visitors through their 40 overs.
Moor’s 14 in the context proved a lot more with some great running and backing-up as Willoughby at least made it into three figures.
For Flecknoe, Jake Bolton’s spin returned figures of 4-23 and exuberant celebrations, with Dan McCallion impressive with 3-12.
After a fine tea, Willoughby needed some early wickets to mount any sort of challenge and Farrow (0-19) and fellow 15-year-old Jake Quinney (0-10) were both unlucky not to strike with a great opening spell.
Having negotiated that opening burst, Flecknoe looked to push on to victory despite John Gregson making a breakthrough in his second over.
Goodwin backed up the opening bowlers with an equally economical spell of 0-11 but the hosts pushed on and knocks of 30no from opener Brown and 40 from Johnson saw Flecknoe home with plenty of overs and wickets to spare.

Fixtures
Saturday – 1.30pm: South Northants Premier Division: M K Air v Willoughby. Division 4: Willoughby A v Wardington
Sunday – 2pm: Club Friendly: Lutterworth v Willoughby