Great Horwood’s title hopes dealt a blow

Sam Willett
Sam Willett

Great Horwood’s title hopes took a blow at the weekend when they were beaten by 69 runs away at Shrivenham.

Without a number of key players, Horwood lost the toss and were put into the field first and they had to wait until the 10th over for the breakthrough when Neil Wilkins struck.

Wilkins picked up his second wicket shortly afterwards while Josh Nix bowled economically to restrict the hosts to 85-2 at the halfway stage

The third-wicket stand went onto add 113 as Horwood’s bowlers struggled.

Once the partnership was broken, Haydon Morrison (3-68) and Olly Prendergast (3-50) picked up valuable wickets but Shrivenham closed on 242-8.

In reply, Horwood made a brisk start as openers Stuart Parker and Sam Willett continued their fine run of form by adding 95 in 22 overs.

That gave Horwood a strong platform to chase down the target, however once Willett departed for 60, Parker shortly followed and the remaining batsmen all failed to contribute anything significant as they finished on 173-9.

On Sunday, Horwood travelled to Kidlington for the OCA 20/20 finals day, where they were drawn against defending league and cup winners Cowley in the semi-finals.

Horwood elected to bat first and a blistering partnership between Parker and Nix (49) added 106 in just 10 overs before Horwood finished on 201-4 from their 20 overs with Parker unbeaten on 78.

Despite a valiant effort, Cowley fell 17 runs short in reply after Matt McStraw took 3-25 from four tight overs.

Horwood then faced Radley in the final. Parker again won the toss and chose to bat first, and again Parker and Nix (24) impressed together, adding 50 for the second-wicket.

Parker reached 31 until he was bowled before Matt McStraw (27) and Chris McStraw (19) ensured Horwood posted a competitive total of 140.

Horwood’s bowling though was wayward and nothing went to hand in the field as Radley’s openers were able to keep on top of the run-rate.

Despite trying everything, Horwood were unable to make the breakthrough and Radley reached the target with four overs to spare.

Horwood IIs recorded a fine victory on Saturday when they posted 209-9 before bowling Brill out for 109 with Simon Ridgway scoring 41 and then taking 4-42.