WILLOUGHBY CC remain in the Northamptonshire Cricket League Division Seven promotion hunt after battling to a three-wicket win against Thrapston.
Thrapston’s James Loader top scored with 63 as Oliver Bennett (26) and Braeden Bettles (14) proved the only other batters to reach double figures.
Willoughby took the final four wickets of the innings for just seven runs as Dan Farrow (4-42) made crucial inroads at the top of the Thrapston order who were limited to 150 all out in 38.4 overs.
And Willoughby made a slow start to the run chase after losing Callum Hanks for a duck and Matthew Sutton (9) to leave them on 10-2.
Ambrose Deery (8) was next to depart whilst Farrow made a useful 17 before he was trapped lbw with Willoughby on 41-4.
The wickets continued to fall when Ben Hollis (10) and Ashley Rayner (24) were both caught having taken Willoughby to 88-6.
However, a crucial knock of 65 not out from Stuart Bonthuys, which included 13 boundaries from just 50 deliveries, saw Willoughby over the line as they finished on 153-7 to reach the required total in 34 overs.
The result means Willoughby sit fourth in the table, still 28 points behind Mears Ashby who occupy the final promotion spot.
And Willoughby’s 2nd XI were also victorious as they beat Bugbrooke 3rds by 94 runs in Division 13 to avenge their defeat earlier in the campaign.
The win came despite a troublesome start with the bat as Willoughby were reduced to 46-4 in sweltering conditions.
Sean Thornton made a quickfire 26 before Aiden Porter (83) and Martin Nichols (44) combined for a stunning 127-run fifth-wicket partnership to lift Willoughby to 198-6 from their 40 overs.
Bugbrooke looked well-placed to challenge Willoughby’s total at 41-2 despite Yash Sanghani (3-26) chipping away at the visitors top order.
However, Nichols (3-29) took the crucial wicket of Keenan Harding (16) to swing the game in Willoughby’s favour before Porter (3-8) ripped through Bugbrooke’s middle order as they slumped to 93-7.
And Bugbrooke were eventually bowled out for 104 in 28.1 overs to secure a 94-run for Willoughby who now occupy the third and final promotion spot.