Horwood topple league leaders Minster Lovell to go top

Horwood captain Stuart Parker. Pictures by Jake McNulty
Horwood captain Stuart Parker. Pictures by Jake McNulty
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Great Horwood defeated league leaders Minster Lovell by 55 runs on Saturday to leapfrog their opponents and go top of OCA Division One.

After winning the toss, Horwood opted to bat first but for the second consecutive week they suffered a terrible start with captain Stuart Parker and fellow opener Sam Willett falling cheaply, and they were followed back to the pavilion by Matt Thatcher to leave Horwood in early trouble at 14-3.

Dale Armitage

Dale Armitage

Dale Armitage and Andy Thatcher took the score past 50 but Thatcher was then out for 14 and Armitage followed shortly after for 26 as Horwood struggled to build any partnerships and after 25 overs the the score was 74-5.

Matt Mcstraw and Josh Nix (20) then added 41 to move the Horwood score beyond 100, however it was the seventh wicket partnership between brothers Chris and Matt McStraw that got the home side a foothold in the game

The siblings added 60 much-needed runs in nine overs as they both scored freely with Matt batting superbly to hold the innings together, making 46 from 58 balls, while Chris blasted 37 off 31 balls.

Number 10 Haydon Morrison also hit 10 not out from eight balls at the end to help take Horwood up to a competitive 185-9 at the end 45 overs.

In reply, Minster Lovell’s top order were unable to cope with Horwood’s opening bowlers Josh Nix and Adam Armitage, who both bowled with pace and control to put pressure on the visiting batsmen.

Armitage bowled 10 overs and finished with 3-14 and Nix completed 12 and took 1-15 as the away side struggled badly for runs before stumbling to 38-4 at the halfway stage.

Morrison was then introduced into the attack and he continued his fine run of form with the ball. As the batsmen looked to increase the run-rate, Morrison was able to pick up regular wickets before finishing with fine figures of 5-40 as Minster’s lower order were unable to turn the innings around and they were dismissed for 130 in the 40th over to give Horwood a vital victory in the title race.

Horwood’s Airey Cup semi-final was postponed on Sunday due to weather and will now be re-arranged.

This weekend, Horwood are at Cowley Internationals.

Meanwhile, Great Horwood IIs suffered a disappointing defeat at Hanney.

Hanney batted first and made 170 despite 5-42 from Simon Ridgway which included a hat-trick. In reply, Horwood were dismissed for just 61.