CRICKET: WILLOUGHBY were involved in an early season top of the table clash against Silverstone at the weekend, a game which went the way of their rivals.
Willoughby crashed to a miserable six wicket defeat after batting first on away territory.
The visitors never recovered after being reduced to 20/4 and then 49/7.
Although Frank Claydon and Nick Crane salvaged matters partially with an eighth wicket stand of 41, Willoughby were bowled out for only 94.
Crane top scored with 19 and Ben Hollis with 17 as David Williams took four wickets for 14 runs.
In reply, Crane did grab an early wicket to offer some hope – but opener Graeme Williams with 24 and Andrew Key with 48 were the backbone to Silverstone cruising to their target for the loss of only three further wickets.
They reached 95/4 with still more than 15 overs to spare.
There was a thrilling end to the local derby at The Green as Willoughby’s 2nd XI took a wicket with the final ball of the day to earn a tie with neighbours Braunston Paddox.
Batting first, Willoughby got off to a steady start but looked in some trouble as they went from 24/1 to 35/5.
An unbroken partnership of 83 between Kamesh Ganti (47*) and captain Nikesh Mistry (35*) recovered matters sufficiently to take the hosts to a reasonably defendable total of 128/5.
Will Burgess took four wickets for 23 for the visitors.
Braunston’s reply fluctuated throughout as the top four failed to make double figures but Zane Doe’s 49 looked to have tipped the balance the visitors way.
However his departure then saw wickets fall in the lower order meaning entering the last over three possible outcomes were on the cards.
Braunston got the three runs to level the match however Ganti bowled the final batsman with the final ball of the game to ensure honours were even and the match was tied.
Earlier Sean Thornton took four wickets for 21 and John Gregson bagged a pair for 20 runs for the hosts.
This weekend Willoughby’s 1st XI host Castlethorpe in their latest South Northamptonshire Division One game while Helmdon host Willoughby A.