By Jamie Arrowsmith 07/08 Updated: 07/08 16:32
THE RAIN which has so often been the scourge of Willoughby's season so far was perhaps their saviour on Saturday as the South Northants Cricket League M&P Scott (Builders) Division One meeting against promotion hopefuls Radway at The Green was abandoned at the halfway point.
On a pitch that again offered plenty for the bowlers, the game was evenly poised with Willoughby back in the pavilion having being bowled out for 91.
Tom Hill's 38 not out and newly-wed James Barnwell's knock of 21 were the only home batsmen to make it into double figures in the face of Radway's Steve Douthwaite taking 6-32.
However, the heavens well and truly opened during the tea interval and, with the pitch saturated with standing water, both sides shook hands with no further play possible.
In Division Four Willoughby A earned a 124-run victory at Radway A as Willoughby's second string blend of youth and experience ran out comfortable winners to complete the double over their opponents.
In the shadow of Edgehill, the visitors lost the toss and were asked to bat first, with Matt Goss and Manny Sidhu making a solid if unspectacular start, reaching 42 off the opening ten overs.
However, having looked comfortable, Sidhu was first to fall, but Goss was then joined by Vinay Chhana and the two built a healthy partnership of 90 either side of the halfway point before the latter departed for 33.
However, Goss continued in imperious fashion and was only three overs from carrying his bat and two runs away from reaching what would have been a fine century, only to be caught at backward point having made an excellent 98.
Some late hitting in the final overs ensured the visitors went past 200, making a very respectable 207-5. Christian Squire took 3-78 for the hosts.
In reply, Willoughby made early inroads into the home batting as Josh Thompson (3-18) and then Karl Quinney (1-21) accounted for the top order.
The introduction of the timeless spin artistry of John Gregson then had Radway at 52-5 before the sides went off as the threatening showers arrived.
After a delay of 30 minutes, the sides returned and Gregson picked up where he left off, eventually finishing with figures of 4-20.
Chhana deservedly also got in on the act in between. Skipper Nikesh Mistry then brought himself into the attack and his first ball ended the Radway innings and proceedings some 124 runs behind at 83 all out.
Weekend fixtures: Saturday: South Northants Cricket League Division One - Willoughby v Afro Caribbean; Division Four - Syresham A v Willoughby A.
Sunday: Club friendly - Willoughby v Oakfield.
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