CRICKET: WILLOUGHBY overcame a wobbly start to defeat Greens Norton at home by a convincing 99 run margin on Saturday.
The visiting side won the toss and elected to field first.
Their decision appeared to be the correct one as Willoughby opener Keith Gibson was caught for a duck with the score on two.
Martin Nichols (20) and Stuart Hall (29) steadied the Willoughby ship to advance the home side past 50, but soon after Hall was caught to leave Willoughby at 53/2.
Nichols then lost his wicket lbw just six runs later while his new partner Richard Foxen was still yet to score.
Despite having two fresh batsmen at the crease, Greens Norton failed to take advantage as Foxen and Hallam (5) advanced the score past 90.
Hallam was eventually bowled for a patient 5 while Matthew Smart fell two balls later for 0.
Foxen continued to strike boundaries at a regular pace – including five 4s and four 6s – as Willoughby eventually passed the 100 mark.
But Foxen lacked partners. Simon Nicholls (10) and Ben Hollis (11) provided the only double figure scores at the lower end of the order as Sean Thornton and John Gregson both fell for 0.
Foxen was eventually caught for a well played 59 as Willoughby were bowled out for a disappointing 156.
In reply, Greens Norton never got going.
Top three Matt Baker, Bristow, and Andre Bodily all fell for single figures while Matt Yuil was the only batsman to reach double figures with a knock of 30.
A disastrious middle order collapse saw Greens Norton slump to 57 all out from less than 20 overs.
Simon Nicholls returned with a six wickets haul (21/6) while Richard Foxen chipped in with three wickets for 33 runs.
There was no such luck for Willoughby’s second team though as they lost to Gayton by 79 runs.
The hosts batted first and were helped by strong contributions from top order batsmen Roy (32), Faraday (53), Waldron (35) and Dam (31).
Stability at the start of the innings allowed Gayton to play with more aggression in the closing overs as they reached 210/6 from their 40 overs.
In reply, Willoughby struggled to keep up with the run rate. Their cause wasn’t helped as they lost wickets at regular intervals.
Opener Matthew Gross starred with a half century, but he wasn’t supported in the middle order as Willoughby could only reach 131/8 in reply.