WILLOUGHBY CC’s start to the new Northamptonshire Cricket League season began in disappointing fashion with a five-wicket defeat at home to Irthlingborough Town’s 2nd XI.
The hosts batted first and started positively as Hassan Nawaz and Scott Cluley built an opening stand of 41 before the latter departed for 20.
That triggered a steady flow of wickets with Nawaz fifth to go with a top score of 33.
A late cameo of 28 from Callum Hanks took Willoughby into three figures before they were bowled out for a below-par 128 as Tony Wallinger took 4-22 for the visitors.
Irthlingborough’s reply started well as their openers put on 34 for the first wicket before the introduction of Cluely into the attack got the first breakthrough.
Despite a few further losses, the visitors made it to 86-5 with Harry Wallinger top scoring with 45.
Teammate Leighton Griffiths took on the mantle and averted any further alarms closing on 38 not out as Irthlingborough reached their target with less than half their allotted overs used and with five wickets in hand.
Cluely’s eventual four wicket haul coming at a price of 47 runs.
In contrast, Willoughby’s 2nd XI made short work of their visit to Geddington’s 4th XI winning by seven wickets.
The visitors only travelled and played with nine-men but overcame that disadvantage as they skittled their opponents for a measly 43 all out.
Geddington were unable to recover from 29-5 off 16 overs with their woes compounded by injury and illness to two of their players.
Willoughby’s four bowlers of Fergus Deery 3-10, Lines 2-16, Sutton 3-8 and Gregson 1-3 making relative easy work of the home batting.
After a brief interval Willoughby also had their early problems as Geddington’s Wardle found extra bounce on the pitch and found himself with three wickets in the first six overs.
However, the experience of Martin Nichols 14 not out and Matt Sutton 12 not out saw the visitors to victory within 9 overs.
Willoughby’s 1st XI travel to Mears Ashby CC on Saturday, May 7 with the game set to begin at 12pm at Mears Ashby Playing Field.