CRICKET SLIDESHOW: Winning debut for Willoughby in new league

Action from Saturday's game against Thrapston at The Green

PICTURES BY MIKE BAKER

1sts' captain Ben Hollis bowling to Thrapston on Saturday

1sts' captain Ben Hollis bowling to Thrapston on Saturday

Northamptonshire League Division 6

Willoughby v Thrapston Town II

Willoughby 1st XI’s debut in the Northamptonshire League was a winning one after a closely-fought contest with Thrapston Town.

With The Green looking in immaculate condition thanks to the efforts of Fergus Deery and his team, the visitors were asked to bat and were on the backfoot early on thanks to new ball pair of Callum Hanks and Karl Quinney.

James Andrews keeping wicket

James Andrews keeping wicket

The former took the opening wicket in the third over as part of his fine spell and eventual figures of 1 for 23, with Quinney claiming the number three via the hands of Martin Nichols as part of an economical return of 1 for 9 off nine overs.

Ashley Rayner (1-25) and Jake Quinney (1-26) had Thrapston at 45-4 before a mid-order contribution of 22 from Sam Wesby looked to be progressing nicely and potentially causing problems. That was until he fell victim to Dave Alcock, who also took out the remaining Williams after a rather pedestrian knock of 25; Alcock’s nine over spell yielding fine figures of 2-25.

Home skipper Ben Hollis took out 2-18 but a stubborn last wicket stand between Thrapston tailenders Hall and Borrett with 11 not out and 19 not out respectively took the visitors to 134- 9 off 45 overs.

Willoughby’s reply started in positive fashion as Ian Andrews and Hassan Nawaz took Willoughby up to 44 before the latter holed out for 32 off the bowling of Hall which signalled a turning point.

Dave Alcock bowling in Willoughby's winning Northamptonshire league debut

Dave Alcock bowling in Willoughby's winning Northamptonshire league debut

With storm clouds gathering in the distance, Hall took three quick wickets as part of his eventual 5-11 haul to leave hosts wobbling at 61-4 when rain arrived.

A delay of 35 minutes then brought the nuances of Duckworth/Lewis into the equation with Willoughby set a revised target of 130 with 22 overs left.

Two further wickets really had the momentum in the visitors’ favour.

However Rayner was then joined at the crease by Alcock and the experienced pair led the hosts out of immediate danger and then in steady pursuit of the remaining total.

Their sixth wicket partnership was worth 58 before Rayner departed for 34 with 10 runs required, and Alcock was still there at the close on 24 not out as Willoughby reached 133-7 with six overs to spare for a three-wicket victory.