1sts edged out by Bodicote in 'epic battle'
By Karl Quinney
Battle of promoted sides goes the way of the visitors
Willoughby are still looking for that elusive victory their performances have deserved after an epic battle at The Green saw the hosts edged out by visitors Bodicote
The meeting of two of last year’s promoted sides always tend to be closely fought affairs and this was no different as the game fluctuated back and forth with the North Oxfordshire outfit just getting over the line.
In fine conditions, Willoughby opted to bat first having the toss and saw Martin Nichols and Manny Sidhu get them off to a good start with a first wicket partnership of 87 that took them just past the drinks break. Despite a loss of their wickets and also Ashley Rayner in quick succession, Tom Stevenson and Richard Foxon rebuilt as Bodicote countered by adding 26 and 20 respectively. The host’s eventual total of 190 for 6 was competitive despite a feeling that a 200+ score was in the offering.
The visitor’s reply started patiently and had to in the face of the typically economic Lee Johnson and the quicker pace of youngster Jake Quinney. After tempting the youngster with a couple of chipped half chances, Bodicote’s skipper Lawrence left proceedings temporarily to illness and his replacement Allen was then first to fall to Johnson whose eventual 12 over stint yielded a fine 1 for 17. One Quinney was replace by another with dad Karl (1 for 34) replacing son Jake but the pair combined with Jake taking a fine flying catch to see off the remaining opener Miller after an unspectacular 26.
At drinks, honours were even with the run rate in check and however the introduction of late arrival Lightfoot then changed matters as with teammate Singh the pair set about upping the temp. The latter departed to the bowling of John Gregson (1 for 28) after one swing too many for 26 but the recovered Lawrence returned and together with Lightfoot edged Bodicote closer until young Quinney (1 for 47 off 12 overs) returned and deservedly picked up a wicket to remove him for 65.
Lawrence however continued the charge and saw the visitors home via a well-timed run chase with seven balls to spare despite the host’s valiant attempts in the field.
Read Bodicote's take on the game here