Great Horwood lost top spot in OCA Division One after a disappointing defeat at Cowley Internationals on Saturday, however they bounced back in the Airey Cup semi-finals on Sunday with victory over Wantage.
Against Cowley, Horwood were put into bat first on a bowler friendly wicket and their batsmen struggled to cope with the pitch as the inconsistent bounce brought about a clattering of wickets.
Without a superb dogged innings from Sam Willett, who managed to brave the conditions and carry his bat to finish 93 not out, things could have been a lot worse as the rest of the batsmen were unable to contribute anything significant.
Willett’s effort helped Horwood post a competitive 177-9.
In reply, Cowley played aggressively and it paid off as although Josh Nix (3-60) and Haydon Morrison (3-12) bowled well, they reached the target for the loss of seven wickets.
Horwood have dropped to second in the table and travel to Radley this weekend.
In the Airey Cup semi-finals on Sunday, Horwood were this time asked to bowl first against Wantage and Matt Thatcher made early inroads during his spell of 12 overs, two for 34.
It was the introduction of Matt Mcstraw that swung the game Horwood’s way, though, as he ripped through the middle-order to finish with fine figures of 5-37 and put Horwood well on the way to victory.
Simon Ridgway (2-5) then came on to clean up the tail as Wantage were all out for 139.
Horwood openers Stuart Parker (63no) and Sam Willett (24) added 54 for the first wicket to put the game firmly in their control before Matt Thatcher (34no) joined Parker and steered Horwood to victory for the loss of just one wicket.
The win takes Horwood through to the Airey Cup final, where they will face local rivals Westbury on Monday, August 31, at Charlbury, starting at 1pm.
Great Horwood are also joining forces with Thornborough Cricket Club to play a 40-over memorial match in honour of Bob Ridgway and Mick Moore at Great Horwood CC this Sunday.
Bob and Mick were highly respected by players, members and supporters alike, and they gave a lot to their clubs for many years with plenty of memories made along the way.