Rugby beat Studley by five wickets in season opener - The Rugby Observer
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Rugby beat Studley by five wickets in season opener

Rugby Editorial 27th Apr, 2016 Updated: 27th Oct, 2016

RUGBY started their season with a comfortable five wicket victory over newly-promoted Studley in the Warwickshire League Premier Division.

Owen Edwards won the toss and had little hesitation in choosing to bowl first, given the recent wet weather, although the wicket played consistently all afternoon.

It was the skipper Edwards (9-5-17-1) who picked up the first wicket of the season, removing his opposite number Steve Rose (5) in the fifth over.

Luke Davis was then forced to retire hurt with a back spasm, but Brandon Miller and Jack Williams settled the innings down and built a confident partnership as Rugby’s seam attack failed to pose too many challenges as league’s new boys moved to 85/1 at the halfway stage.

Rugby then turned to the slower bowlers and, with pace off the ball, they were to tie Studley’s batsmen down and retake control of the match.

Ewer took Rugby’s second wicket after bowling Williams (30) before Krish Dhokia got to work on the middle order by claiming the next four wickets, which included Miller (65), as Studley lost momentum and limped to 160-9 from their allocation.

Rugby’s reply got off to an aggressive start with Henry Wilkins striking two boundaries down the ground in the first three balls of the innings.

Although Andrew Rhodes removed Lee James and Ewer for 4 apiece, Wilkins continued to attack and gave his side the explosive start this so effective when chasing small totals.

He raced to 50 from 31 balls but, when he miscued one to long off, Rugby were in a spot of bother at 69-3 and Rhodes had all three wickets.

This brought Charlie Robards to join Henry Parker at the crease and the pair took the sting out of Studley’s attack with a watchful partnership as they began to expand their game with some class strokeplay, with Parker’s straight drives particularly impressive.

They added 73 before Robards (43) was caught behind with 19 needed to win and, although another quick wicket fell, Parker and Edwards eased their side to victory by five wickets in the 34th over.

WILLOUGHBY got their 2016 preparations underway with back-to-back friendly victories over Fillongley and Bourton & Frankton ahead of the start of their South Northants Cricket League campaign.

The first match was against Fillongley on Saturday at The Green where the home side eased to a five wicket victory with Tom Stevenson leading the way with a half century.

The visitors batted first and made made slow progress before reaching a total 138 for 6 off their 40 overs with opener Jeff Lee batting virtually throughout the innings making 51 not out (retired) with Taylor Gilder making 20.

In reply, Willoughby reached their target with a little over 10 overs to spare, led by Tom Stevenson’s unbeaten half century and new 2nd XI captain Ben Hollis making 19. Will Horton took 2 for 24 for Fillongley.

Saturday’s win was backed up by another victory the following day against a depleted Bourton and Frankton side.

The hosts batted first and made 152 for 9 off their allotted 40 overs with Ashley Rayner making a useful 53 not out (retired), while Nikesh Mistry scored 33.

Iain Stockdale took 3 for 17 off an economical seven over spell with Troy Reeves guesting for the visitors in the field taking 1 for 23.

In reply, George Smith and Stockdale looked to be getting the visitors off to a useful start but having both made double figures they both departed as Simon Nicholls (3 for 22) and Sean Thornton (2 for 18) made early inroads.

Further wickets fell at regular intervals before Karl Quinney, guesting for the visitors with the bat, held matters up at the death with a top score of 13 before being the last wicket to fall with the innings closed at 62 all out.

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