1sts close league campaign with defeat at Byfield
By Karl Quinney
End of season feel to dead rubber at Byfield
South Northants Cricket League
Byfield v Willoughby
Byfield 196 for 6
Willoughby 162 all out
Byfield won by 34 runs
Willoughby ended their 2018 SNCL campaign with a loss in a game which had something of an end-of-season feel to it
With nothing really to play for and both sides already assured of Premier Division cricket next term, the hosts took to the crease first and set a total of 196 for 6. Lee Parkinson top scored for Byfield with 50 as Lee Johnson (2 for 39), Richard Foxon (2 for 41) and Dave Alcock (2 for 15) all took a pair of wickets apiece.
In reply, Willoughby’s run chase fell just short for the second week running, as they were bowled out for 162. Martin Nichols (22) and Stuart Hall (45) gave the innings early promise and momentum, but despite Ashley Rayner making 23 and Foxon adding 33 in mid order the visitor’s batting could not quite muster the necessary additional runs to get them over the line.
Nevertheless, a comfortable eighth place finish in the final standings represents a good return for Willoughby in their first season back in the top flight and just reward for the hard work of captain Ben Hollis in bringing the feel good factor back to the 1st XI both on and off-the-field.