CRICKET - Willoughby stutter in promotion hunt after Brigstock defeat - The Rugby Observer

CRICKET - Willoughby stutter in promotion hunt after Brigstock defeat

Rugby Editorial 26th Aug, 2022   0

WILLOUGHBY CC saw their Northamptonshire Cricket League Division Seven promotion hopes dented after slipping to a 58-run defeat away at Brigstock 2nds.

The defeat means Willoughby’s season will go down to the final fixture and currently occupy the second and final promotion spot – five points ahead of Mears Ashby CC in third.

Having lost the toss, the visitors were asked to field and saw five of the host’s top six batters make steady progress with Sat Singh (42) and Monty Spencer (53) leading the way.

Brigstock’s final wicket fell on the last ball of the 45-over innings having reached 211 all out, with Stuart Bonthuys 2-41 the best of the Willoughby attack alongside Mark Fell’s 2-52) and Dan Farrow’s 2-35 with Ambrose Deery snaffling four catches and a fine run out.

Willoughby’s reply got off to a poor start with Callum Hanks edging one behind off the very first ball, quickly followed by the dismissals of Ashley Rayner, Deery, Martyn Norman and Chair Kurusala as Willoughby were reduced to 24-5 after 14 overs.

Farrow and Bonthuys steadied the ship and put together a a 55-run partnership before first Farrow (14) and Bonthuys (49) were both trapped lbw.

Captain Ben Hollis came in and plundered 38 before being caught in the deep, but with the tail end unable to wag Willoughby were bowled out for 153, falling well short of the required target.

Despite the defeat, the points gained inadvertently lifts Willoughby into second spot and the promotion places thanks to nearest rivals Mears Ashby’s capitulation against newly-crowned division champions Northampton Saints.

Willoughby play Saints this weekend whilst Mears are at home to lowly Rushton.

In Division 13, Willoughby 2nds suffered a five-wicket defeat against Bold Dragoon 2nds to fall behind their opponents in the table with promotion already confirmed.

Batting first, Willoughby saw Sean Thornton and Anshul Satsangi stick a quick 51 run partnership on the board, the former departing for 39 with boundaries galore, before Martin Nichols chipped in with 23.

At 83-3 off 20 overs, Bold came back into the game thanks to Blatch (4-41) and Bentley (2-20).

Rich Foxon looked excellent and was caught with a blinding catch on the boundary for 22 which changed the complexion of the game at 126-6.

The lower order stuck in with Nikesh Mistry (23) helping the team to 171-9 off 40 overs, a below par score against the Bold bowlers who had a consistent line and length.

After two quick wickets for Rees Moor, Bold were in trouble as the skipper Hurrell arrived at the crease accompanied by Bentley who was far beyond as good as any player Willoughby have faced this season.

And with the Willoughby bowling again way below par for the second week in a row, Hurrell capitalised and rode his luck for a very lofty 66.

Eventually, the 102-run partnership came to an end with a crescendo of wickets to peg Bold back to 119-5.

That was the end of any kind resilience as Bentley carved the openers Lines and Moor up as anything slightly wide or off length was dispatched to all corners.

Bold sailed over the line with four overs to spare with Bentley 59 not out, Moor finishing with 2-45 and Fergus Deery 2-40.


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