WILLOUGHBY’S Saturday Seconds’ season came to a disappointing end with a 39-run defeat to champions Carrb United in the Northampotnshire League Division 12 KO Cup Final.
It was a very bitter pill to swallow for the team as a useful fielding display gave them a good opportunity to win the cup after dismissing Carib for 166 but some indifferent and controversial decisions by the home umpire proved pivotal in the fine outcome.
Skipper Ryan Perry won the toss and opted to field and initially seeing the opening partnership of Archie McMillan (2-36) and Ryan Lines (2-23) control the first 16 overs with Carrib at 48 for three.
After a wicket for Matt Sutton (2-34) Carrib counterattacked with Khan (51) the main instigator maintaining a good scoring rate. At 136-5 the team found momentum with Fergus Deery picking up 3-32 off his allotted 10 overs as Carrib were pegged back in the final eight overs being eventually bowled out for 166.
Willoughby’s opening duo of Matt Cartridge and Michael Deery tucked into the Carrib bowling and were 41 off five overs before Deery mis-cued a pull to long on.
The first controversial moment came as Cartridge was ‘adjudged’ LBW despite the ball hitting him a good foot outside the leg stump from Pemberton. Martin Nichols was caught by an excellent catch and young Ambrose Deery couldn’t continue his form and was bamboozled by Pemberton’s twirl.
This left Matt Sutton to calm down the nerves with some fine stroke play, taking 14 off four balls to get Willoughby on 110-5 and seemingly bearing down on a victory.
However, this prompted the home umpire to flex his finger muscles a second time as Sutton was sent off LBW with the ball nearer his chest than the pad after making a fine 41. It only took another two overs before the home umpire again had his finger of doom pointing in the air as Perry was also sent packing LBW.
From there the team never really recovered especially with the inevitability of the ball hitting the pad had them concerned, the visitors eventually being bowled out for 127 and 39 runs short of what would have been a deserved victory.