Six wicket defeat for Rugby at rivals Olton - The Rugby Observer

Six wicket defeat for Rugby at rivals Olton

Rugby Editorial 28th May, 2015 Updated: 27th Oct, 2016   0

RUGBY succumbed to a six-wicket defeat at the hands of title-rivals Olton on Saturday in the Warwickshire League Premier Division in a game that was significantly dictated by the toss.

It was a toss that the visitors won and had no hesitation in electing to bowl first on a damp track and Rugby struggled from the outset.

Only Raj Chohan (20) reached double figures in the top five as Olton’s seam attack bowled a series of unplayable deliveries that made runs very hard to come by.

The chief destroyer, however, was off-spinner Kevin Crotty who got the ball to grip, turn and bounce in alarming fashion and ripped through Rugby’s middle order with 12-3-26-5.

Lee James (19) provided some brief cheer for Rugby, but his dismissal left them slumped on 60 for eight, as Lee Golding joined Steve Ward at the crease.

Although conditions had begun to improve, batting was still hard work and the pair built a gutsy partnership with some smart running and selective hitting.

They rode their luck initially but Ward, in particular, began to strike the ball cleanly and reached a superb half century that would have been worth much more in easier conditions.

Their partnership had reached 60 when Golding (19) was dismissed, but Ward (56*) carried his bat as Rugby closed on 140/9.

Frustratingly for Rugby, the sun had come out and the pitch was drying rapidly, which made batting far easier in the second innings and Olton’s high-quality top order applied themselves well as Rugby struggled to make the inroads they needed.

Henry Wilkins bowled a whole-hearted spell that deserved more reward and, when Tom Wilkins reduced Olton to 92/4, Rugby sniffed an opening.

However, Olton soon stamped out any hope of a turnaround, as captain Gary Hawkins (31*) and Australian import Michael Collins (33*) saw their side to the winning line.

WILLOUGHBY made light work of visitors Castlethorpe by romping to a comprehensive nine-wicket victory at The Green in the South Northants Cricket League Division One.

The home side fielded first and having seen the first ball of the match dispatched elegantly to the boundary, the visitors were then to 8 for 6, which was a position they simply could not recover from.

Castlethorpe’s misery was summed up when their regular opening batsman arrived just at the fall of the eighth wicket only to then see the final wicket go down as he stood at the non-strikers end and did not face a single ball.

Destroyer in chief for Willoughby was Marcus Fleming who produced a scintillating spell of bowling to return figures of 5 for 12, alongside Lee Johnson who took 3 for 12 as the visitors were bowled out for a mere total of 42.

In reply, Willoughby only suffered the loss of James Barnwell (LBW) but Dave Alcock and Tom Stevenson ensured there was no further dramas as the visitors comfortably came away with a victory by nine wickets.

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