A SECOND-SUCCESSIVE batting slump means Rugby remain without a win in the Warwickshire County Premier Division, after falling to a 144-run defeat to Stratford-upon-Avon.
The Webb Ellis Road hosts limited Stratford to a beatable 200-7 score, but in similar fashion to their opening-day defeat at Walmley, lost wickets at regular intervals early on to deny themselves the opportunity to ever really put pressure on the visitors.
Rugby’s bowlers opened well during the first innings, taking out some of Stratford’s danger men early on – Lee Golding (2-38) particularly impressing as the away side struggled at 66-4.
That all changed when number three George Burford (44) found form with middle-order batsman Josh Colwell (88) to spell trouble for the hosts.
The duo’s partnership of 106 put Stratford on the front foot and presented a more challenging score to Rugby’s batsmen.
That challenge proved all too much, with the visitors’ Mike Brown (4-21) and James Urquhart (3-3) running amok to skittle out Rugby for just 56 runs.
Matthew Ewer’s side chase a response away to bottom-side Barby (Northants) on Saturday.
WILLOUGHBY’S Sunday XI strode to a 40-run win over Monks Kirby last weekend, in the club’s latest friendly success.
Young guns Matt McQuillian (22) and Samay Patel (14) put on 29 runs before the opening wicket, before Saturday first XI captain Ben Hollis (52 n.o) showed his quality to raise the hosts’ level.
Retiring after reaching a half-century, Willoughby’s middle-order men Aiden Porter (25) and skipper Ashley Rayner (38 n.o) continued the run count on the way to a 187-7 total.
Monks Kirby replied steadily until encountering the bowling prowess of the Hanks brothers Callum (2-24) and Justin (1-31), who helped instigate the visitors’ decline.
Mark Fell (3-25) then came to the fore to wreak havoc on Monks’ batsmen, Kirby eventually out for 147 with three balls remaining.
Willoughby’s first team host Towcestrians in a final friendly on Saturday before their Northamptonshire League Division Six campaign gets underway a week later, while the club’s Sunday XI play host to Lutterworth in another warm-up.