WILLOUGHBY CC’s 2nd XI ended the season in disappointing fashion as they suffered a 75-run defeat to Abington Phoenix 2nds in the final of the Northamptonshire Cricket League Division 13 KO Cup.
The game was marred by a series of contentious decisions, that Willoughby felt went against them, with no league or neutral umpires available for the lower division finals.
And there were also problems with the pitch which was marked out using a football pitch roller after their opponents arrived late.
However, Willoughby made a strong start with the ball to restrict Abington to 30-3 and then 61-6.
An Abington batter was given a reprieve by the umpire, despite appearing to be trapped LBW twice, and went on to score 64 to help his side reach 132-7 as they were eventually bowled out for 172.
Ryan Lines (4-36) was the pick of the Willoughby attack with Rees Moor (3-41) also making an impression with the ball.
In reply, Willoughby struggled on a difficult wicket, that had worsened throughout the game, as Sean Thornton made an impressive 31 whilst Matt Sutton (20) showed some resolve.
However, after the loss of several cheap middle order wickets, Sutton was dismissed LBW despite the ball appearing to hit his stomach as Willoughby were bowled out for just 97.
Jerry Rose (3-10) and Subash Manuel (3-6) did the damage with the pitch almost unplayable by the 20th over.
Willoughby can at least celebrate their promotion to Division 12 and reflect on a positive season for the club despite finishing as runners-up in the cup final.