Pictures by Mike Baker
Willoughby II started life in the Northamptonshire Cricket League Division 13 in positive fashion with a home five-wicket win over fellow league newcomers Pytchley.
With The Green looking in excellent condition, the visitors opted to bat having won the toss and were restricted to a modest 131-8 off their 40 overs.
Several batsmen made it into double figures but were unable to kick on as Kamesh Ganti (2-19) and Nikesh Mistry (3-10) plus a run out from Michael Deery put the brakes on their progress.
Stephen Bounds and Luke Shackleton at 6 and 7 respectively made top scores of 24 and 27 for Pytchley but it left Willoughby with a reasonable target to chase.
The reply started well before the wickets of Ian Andrews and Hassan Nawaz fell for seven runs seeing the hosts at 32-2.
Keith Gibson continued the early momentum before he departed for 28 with the score at 63. However it was the partnership between Ganti and skipper Badj Rahman which built on those starts to guide the hosts towards victory.
Ganti fell for 33 with the score at 93 ahead of Rahman also going seven runs later, but Richard Foxon’s quick-fire 20 not out comfortably saw Willoughby to their target with five wickets and just over five overs to spare.
The 1st XI begin their Division 6 campaign at home to Thrapston II on Saturday, with the 2nds visiting Carrib United II for their second Division 13 game. Both start at 1pm.
On Thursday (9th) in the Rugby & District Cricket League, 6pm, the U15s host Hunningham.
On Sunday (12th) Crick Lions visit for a club friendly at 2pm.
And the Rugby & District Tip & Run League starts at 7pm on Monday (13th) with Willoughby hosting Barby.