CRICKET - Willoughby clinch promotion with final day win - The Rugby Observer

CRICKET - Willoughby clinch promotion with final day win

Rugby Editorial 1st Sep, 2022   0

WILLOUGHBY CC beat champions Northampton Saints 2nds by 66 runs to clinch promotion to Division Six of the Northamptonshire Cricket League on the final day of the season.

Willoughby held a slender lead over promotion rivals Mears Ashby heading into the final game of their respective seasons and held on to Division Seven’s second and final promotion spot with a cagey win.

Batting first, Willoughby set a fairly reasonable target of 230 all out as they failed to capitalise on a positive start that saw their opening five batters all pass 20 with Callum Hanks (55) top scoring.

However, Dan Farrow (15), in at nine, was the only other batter to reach double figures as a middle to lower order wobble threatened to derail the club’s promotion bid.

In reply, two early breakthrough wickets from Mark Fell (2-24) put Willoughby on top before Liam Bligh (23) and Mohammad Shoaib Yaqub (61) recovered the innings for the champions.

And despite promising knocks from Ian Hughes (34) and Nithin Kothakota (21), Willoughby’s bowlers toiled away as Saints eventually fell behind the run rate and were bowled out for 164 in the 43rd over.

Dan Farrow (3-62) was the pick of the Willoughby attack with Stuart Bonthuys (2-29) and Hanks (2-39) taking two wickets apiece.

That meant that despite Mears Ashby easing to a win of their own, Willoughby finished five points ahead of them in the table to secure promotion following their 20-point success.

In Division 13, Willoughby 2nds also secured promotion as runners-up after they skittled already relegated opponents Old Northamptonians 5ths for just 86 to win by nine wickets.

Willoughby needed just three points to make sure of promotion and made a solid start to restrict Old Northamptonians to 60-3 as Ryan Lines (2-16) took two early wickets.

The introduction of Fergus Deery firmly swung the game in Willoughby’s favour as he recorded remarkable figures of 5-16 with Old Northamptonians capitulating to 86 all out.

In reply, Willoughby made light work of the run chase, despite losing Sean Thornton (17), as Anshul Satsangi (27 not out) and Martyn Norman (20 not out) helped them reach 90-1 in 15 overs.

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