Tight finish with just four runs in it
South Northants Division 1
Dunchurch & Bilton 192-9
Dunchurch & Bilton won by 4 runs
After narrowly being defeated by Dunchurch & Bilton at home on back in May, Willoughby were looking gain some revenge on their local rivals and D&B were looking to do the double.
On a rare warm, dry day on a good batting surface, D&B came in to the match on a recent run of poor form over the last few games but this didn’t show as solid innings from Sanj Giri (42) and Dan Greenway (39) together with good contributions from the top order set a very good score of 192. Nick Crane took 4-53 for the visitors.
Willoughby in response started poorly as good aggressive bowling from Connor Bowcutt (2-45) and Les Augustine (3-32) reduced the visitors to 78-7 and it looked to be all over.
A good partnership for the seventh wicket between Graham Hallam (73no) and Si Nicholls (35) gave Willloughby a flicker of hope, however D&B held on narrowly once Nicholls was run out with good death bowling from Ian Brown to win by just 4 runs.
A welcome return to form for D&B, being the better team on the day and delighted to do the double over their local rivals.
A unbeaten 73 from Willoughby’s Graham Hallam was not enough to prevent his side’s narrow derby day defeat at the hands of neighbours Dunchurch & Bilton.
The hosts batted first and set a large target of 192 after being invited to bat having got off to a fast start with first wicket falling with 50 on the board inside only eight overs.
Ashley Rayner slowed the run rate down taking 3 for 34 off his 10 overs, 17-year-old Tom Stevenson bowled his seven-over spell straight through for only 24 runs and the reintroduction of Nick Crane saw his last seven overs take four wickets for figures of 4 for 50, ensuring the visitors collected four bowling points. Sanj Giri with 42 and Dan Greenway with 39 were the home side’s leading bats.
After the heat of the first innings, the two Ians of Andrews and skipper Hughes opened up in rather gloomy light and a bit of rain.
After the first wicket fell on 29, the rather regular WCC collapse took hold as they went from 48 for 2 to 78 for 6 as the top order fell away quickly with only 21 overs gone.
At this point the games and for WCC, the season’s, best partnership occurred, as Hallam and Si Nichols contributed 109 in 18 overs. A regular mix of boundaries, smart batting and showed what is possible when time is spent at the crease.
Nicholls was run out for 35 on the last ball of the 39th over, with the visitors needing 10 of the last over. A wide things at the start looked positive, but it wasn’t to be for the visitors as they lost one more wicket and only manage five runs off the over.
Hallam left 73 not out after a great knock which deserved much more. The bowling of Les Augustine with 3 for 32 and Shaun Harnett’s 2 for 23 just keeping Willoughby at bay.
Similar to the encounter at The Green earlier in the season, the visitors felt it was a win which had just slipped away as D&B recorded a derby double for the season.
On a more positive note for Willoughby, they scored their highest total of the season to date and finally have a half-ton from one of their batsmen.