CRICKET: PROMOTION hopes at Willoughby have all but evaporated following defeat on the road at Castlethorpe.
The home side were asked to bat first and saw the ball hit to all parts of the boundary in the first ten overs as Ashgar (40) rode his luck.
That was until Tom Stevenson (38/3) eventually took his wicket before Mann was then clean bowled the next delivery.
With 90 on the board at the halfway point the visitors were guilty of bowling a bad ball each over to which the home team could capitalise on.
Navi (33) and Mushtq (27) got the score to 122 before they fell in quick succession, but runs still were easy to find.
Dave Alcock (36/2) and Martin Nichols (12/1) concluded the final overs as the hosts reached 187/9 from their allotted overs.
In reply Nichols (45) and Alcock (14) started well before the latter went for a big shot too many.
Hassan Nawaz couldn’t find his form from previous weeks and chopped on for a duck before Ashley Rayner (37) and Nichols built a steady partnership past drinks to 102.
Nichols was then caught at point, and with the overs counting down his untimely departure proved costly for Willoughby.
Rayner, Seam Thornton and Ben Hollis tried to up the run rate to no avail.
Stevenson (27*) capitalised on any poor bowling to keep Willoughby within reach of their target into the 140s and 160s, but with partners running out at the other end ten an over was required for the final five overs.
The home team rotated their bowlers well and Willoughby finished 23 runs off their target for an unfortunate loss which coupled with victories for Bodicote and Silverstone means it will be highly likely that they earn promotion and not the visitors.
A POOR display with the bat left Willoughby A reflecting on a crushing 137 run defeat against Helmdon.
And defeat at The Green confirmed their anticipated relegation to Division Four.
Batting first, the visitors took full advantage of several edges flying through the slips and not to hands to get off to a decent start from which they never looked back from.
Charlie Arrand (58*) top scored after Karl Leitermeyer made 47 as Helmdon combined some hard hitting with riding their luck at times with numerous catching opportunities going to ground to make 212/5 off their allotted 40 overs.
Nikesh Mistry took 45/2 for the hosts.
In reply, a challenging total with a depleted batting line-up was made all the more difficult as Willoughby lost early wickets and with it any real chance of getting close to the target.
Alex Proudman’s (23) worked in tandem with Mistry (16) to offer some brief resistance.
But their departures in close succession signalled the inevitable as the hosts were eventually bowled out for 75, a distant 137 runs adrift.
Willoughby’s first team are in action at home this weekend against Greens Norton while Willoughby A travel to Gayton.