1sts edge tense opener with Thrapston
By Karl Quinney
Winning start also for 1sts in NCL
Northamptonshire County League
Willoughby v Thrapston Town II
Thrapston Town 134 for 9
Willoughby 133 for 7 (revised target 130)
Willoughby won by 3 wickets
Willoughby 1st XI’s debut in the Northamptonshire County League was a winning one after a closely-fought contest with Thrapston Town.
With The Green looking in immaculate condition thanks to the efforts of Fergus Deery and his team, the visitors were asked to bat and were on the backfoot early on as the new ball pair of Callum Hanks and Karl Quinney. The former took the opening wicket inside the third over as part of his fine spell and eventual figures of 1 for 23, with Quinney claiming the number three via the hands of Martin Nichols as part of an economical return of 1 for 9 off nine overs.
Ashley Rayner (1 for 25) and Jake Quinney (1 for 26) had Thrapston at 45 for 4 before a mid-order contribution of 22 from Sam Wesby looked to be progressing nicely and potentially causing problems. That was until he fell victim to Dave Alcock who also took out the remaining Williams who was eventually removed after a rather pedestrian knock of 25; Alcock’s nine over spell yielding fine figures of 2 for 25.
Home skipper Ben Hollis took out 2 for 18 lower down the order but a stubborn last wicket stand between Thrapston tailenders Hall and Borrett with 11 not out and 19 not out respectively took the visitors past three figures and to their total of 134 for 9 off 45 overs.
Willoughby’s reply started in positive fashion as Ian Andrews and Hassan Nawaz took Willoughby up to 44 before the latter holed out for 32 off the bowling of Hall which signalled a turning point.
With storms clouds gathering in the distance, Hall took three quick wickets as part of his eventual 5 for 11 haul to leave hosts wobbling at 61 for 4 when rain arrived. A delay of 35 minutes then brought the nuances of Duckworth/Lewis into the equation with Willoughby set a revised target of 130 with 22 overs left. After a brief spell of attrition between batsmen and bowlers, two further wickets really had the momentum in the visitor’s favour.
However Rayner was then joined at the crease by Alcock and the experienced pair led the hosts out of immediate danger and then in steady pursuit of the remaining total. Their sixth wicket partnership was worth 58 before Rayner departed for 34 with 10 runs required, and Alcock was still there at the close on 24 not out as Willoughby reached 133 for 7 with six overs to spare.