CRICKET: Willoughby U13s end successful season in Somerset

Willoughby Under 13s on their tour to Somerset
Willoughby Under 13s on their tour to Somerset

Seniors finish season on Saturday at Stoneleigh Abbey

Willoughby CC’s Under 13s brought their successful season to a close with an enjoyable tour to Somerset.

The party enjoyed two games as part of their stay in Taunton, which ended with one defeat and one tied game.

After a longer than anticipated journey down the M5, the first fixture on the Friday evening was at the beautiful countryside setting of Ashbrittle.

Batting first having won the toss, the hosts – which included three county players, made 112 for 8 off their 20 overs. All 11 Willoughby players had a turn with the ball with most grabbing a wicket apiece, Archie McMillan proving the most successful taking 2 for 8.

In reply, the toils of a long journey, an excellent BBQ tea from the locals and a touch of general rustiness seemed to take their toll on the tourist’s batting as they were bowled out for 59; this in the face of a useful bowling attack. As the night skies drew in and shadows lengthened, Dan Farrow and Liam Franks top scored with 10 and 12 respectively for the visitors.

Nevertheless, it was a thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable game with the hosts more than accommodating hosts, who we hope to see in these parts next season.

A late night followed by an early morning did not faze the Willoughby youngsters for their second fixture on Saturday morning as they tied their meeting with Ilminster CC.

Again batting first having won the toss, the hosts looked to be heading for a sizeable total with their two county openers making an initial opening partnership of 59. However once the breakthrough came, Willoughby fought back well to reduce Ilminster to 89 all out. Justin Hanks taking 3 for 7, Sam Middlemiss 3 for 6 and Rees Moor 2 for 6.

Despite Willoughby’s reply getting off to a shaky start with the loss of a wicket in the opening over, the tourists recovered and looked to be heading to victory as the batting of Callum Hanks, Jake Quinney and Dan Farrow got them with sight of the target. However, they all departed in quick succession as Ilminster fought back and clawed their way into the middle order.

As Willoughby edged closer, the game boiled down to three runs required off the last over, however the last two wickets fell with the scores level and two balls remaining for a tied match, a fitting end to a good close game with again warm welcoming hosts.

Overall it was a highly successful and enjoyable trip to Somerset to end what has been a great year for Willoughby’s Under 13s, who finished Rugby and District League Champions at Under 13 level and runners-up in the KO Cup.

A huge thank you to all who came along to Somerset; to the parents for their company, support and negotiating the M5 and back-routes on the return journey. And also to all of the WCC 13s players who attended who were great ambassadors and a credit to the club both on and off-the-field as they have been all season.

# Willoughby CC bring their 2016 season to a close this Saturday afternoon, when a club XI heads to the tranquil stately surrounds of Stoneleigh Abbey to face Stoneleigh CC. Start time is 1.30pm.