By Jamie Arrowsmith 18/04 Updated: 24/04 16:28
RUGBY CC will take plenty of positives from Saturday’s opening friendly against Olton despite falling to a four-wicket defeat.
There is plenty of optimism in the air at Rugby following their promotion to Warwickshire League Division One last season, helped by the arrival of some new faces to add depth to the squad, but they were not able to secure victory against an Olton side who finished second in the Premier Division last time out.
Rugby skipper Matt Ewer had no hesitation in batting first after winning the toss and most of the top order got themselves into double figures but failed to go on and make a meaningful contribution.
After losing four wickets inside 15 overs, Alex Smith joined Lee James at the crease and the pair produced a fine partnership.
James was in particularly good form, timing the ball crisply all around the ground, before Smith was bowled for 36.
James went on to top score with a classy 82, ensuring his side posted a competitive 209-7.
Olton’s reply got off to a bit of a flier before Neil McGrath got the breakthrough courtesy of a brutal inswinging yorker.
Rugby debutant Owen Edwards took two wickets in successive balls, before a run out put Rugby in the driving seat.
Opener Liam Gateley was still at the crease though and he took control of the situation for his side, batting throughout the innings.
Although Riv Monsell grabbed two wickets in his second spell, Gateley struck three consecutive boundaries to finish on 115no and see his side home with four overs and four wickets to spare.
On a bitterly cold day and against good opposition, Rugby stuck to the task well and can be pleased with their efforts, despite suffering defeat.
They open their league account with a home fixture against Bronze on April 28, with an inter-club friendly scheduled for this weekend.
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