CRICKET: Willoughby's second string promoted as champions

James Goodwin starred with bat and ball for Willoughby's seconds on Saturday
James Goodwin starred with bat and ball for Willoughby's seconds on Saturday

First team finish Northamptonshire League season mid-table

Northamptonshire County League Division 13

Stony Stratford 5ths v Willoughby IIs

Willoughby 221 for 7

Stony Stratford 197 for 9

Willoughby won by 24 runs

Congratulations are in order to Willoughby’s Saturday Seconds as they rounded off their first season in the NCL by being crowned champions of Division 13.

Having secured promotion the week before, victory at Stony Stratford would seal the title for Badj Rahman’s side and they do so after a well fought contest at Wicken.

Batting first, the visitors made a decent 221 for 7 off their 40 overs, led by James Goodwin making 79 and Matt Goss adding 35; the pair posting an opening stand of 87. James Andrews added 31 with Joseph Mullaney taking 3 for 52 for the hosts.

In reply, three quick wickets for Michael Deery (3 for 35) reduced Stony to 26 for 3 but they recovered a fightback led by remaining opener Rashid Awan. His departure for 73 however slowed their progress and despite 33 from Aneesh Pyaraka, the hosts always looked likely to fall short. Goodwin followed up his antics with the bat with 4 for 29 with Fergus Deery taking 2 for 47 as Willoughby wrapped up the win required and league title.

Division 6

East Haddon II v Willoughby

East Haddon 242 for 8

Willoughby 168 all out

East Haddon won by 74 runs

Willoughby’s Saturday Firsts brought their first season to a close with defeat at East Haddon seconds.

With mid-table safety already secured, the visitors may have had an end-of-season aura to the game but the focus and onus was on the home side who needed to win with bonus points to lift themselves off the bottom of the table and out of the relegation zone to complete their self-styled ‘Great Escape’.

That they achieved by first setting Willoughby a total of 242 for 8 to chase. Duncan Kennedy and Ben Kennedy with 74 and 49 respectively were the main contributors to get East Haddon past the first target of batting points. Callum Hanks returned figures of 5 for 54 for the visitors.

In reply, Chaitanya Kurusala made 32 and Ashley Rayner 35 – in doing so passing 1000 runs for the season – as Willoughby started positively, but accurate economical bowling from the hosts curtailed the run chase and saw them take the wickets necessary to ensure their survival. Jon Clough returned figures of 4 for 42, Neil Ruppelt 3 for 31 and Gibson 2 for 24 as the hosts escaped the drop at the death.

Friendly

Fillongley v Willoughby

Willoughby’s last game of the 2019 season saw defeat in a rain-affected match reduced to 25 overs at Fillongley.

Fillongley 177 for 9

Phil Hammond 63 not out, Fergus Deery 3 for 39

Willoughby 99 all out

Michael Deery 22, Eliot Bates 3 for 14

Fillongley won by 78 runs