A FIVE-WICKET haul from Willoughby skipper Ben Hollis was not enough to prevent his side from falling to defeat at Syresham in the South Northants Premier Division.
Batting first, the hosts and last year’s champions looked intent on defending their title and showed no mercy to the division’s newcomers as they set Willoughby a typically competitive target of 221, thanks to opener Jack Beasley making 42 and David Beasley top scoring with 52.
Credit to the visitors for their persistence as the home side were unable to use their full allocation of overs as Hollis took 5-50, with two wickets apiece for Ashley Rayner and Richard Foxon.
In reply, Willoughby found the hosts just as proficient with the ball as they were with the bat as only three of the visitor’s top and middle order batting could make it into double figures.
Sean Thornton with 36 and Rayner with 32 offered some belated resistance lower down the order but figures of 3-9 for Nathan Archer and 2-12 from Richard Wyness went some way to eventually bowling out Willoughby for 120.