21st Nov, 2017

Promotion hopes evaporate for Willoughby in anti climactic circumstances

CRICKET: WILLOUGHBY’S South Northamptonshire Cricket League campaign ended in disappointing fashion on two counts.

The club’s final fixture was cancelled while results elsewhere saw hopes of promotion evaporate.

Going into the final round of fixtures, third placed Willoughby were five points behind Silverstone who were also seeking a second promotion spot.

Hoping Silverstone would slip up at Croughton, Willoughby were – ironically – forced to call off their match at home on one of the best weekends weather wise.

Willoughby were handed 20 points and victory when their scheduled hosts, Byfield A, were unable to raise a team.

However, it was a similar situation in the other game where Croughton were also unable to raise a team.

This meant Silverstone also claimed the 20 points and victory – ultimately confirming Silverstone’s promotion to the Premier Division.

2nd XI

Elsewhere Willoughby’s second team were in action at The Green to end a miserable season which saw them relegated.

And there was little reason to cheer at the concluding game of the season as Willoughby A slumped to an eight wicket loss against Gawcott and Hillesden.

Batting first, the hosts never really recovered from being one wicket down with only one run on the board.

Willoughby then collapsed to 5/4, though Frank Claydon made 19 in a fifth wicket partnership of 30 with remaining opener Ian Andrews before both fell in quick succession.

It was left then to skipper Nikesh Mistry and Fergus Derry to offer some level of respectability to proceedings.

Both men made 29 in a seventh wicket stand of 50.

However Mistry’s dismissal then saw the remaining four wickets fall for only eight runs as Willoughby were bowled out for exactly 100.

Luke Stafford took four wickets for 32 runs while Matt Foulkes added with three wickets.

The visitors reply suffered two early blows when Callum Hanks (5/1) first removed opener Alex Piggott LBW for 6, and Andrews run out the other opener Richardson to leave Gawcott at 17/2.

But that was as good as it got for the hosts as Aaron Critchley (22*) and Colin Piggott (69*) then put on an unbeaten third wickets stand of 87 to see the visitors comfortably home without any further alarm.

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