Horwood survive scare to edge through nail-biter

Matt Thatcher
Matt Thatcher

Great Horwood progressed into the next round of the Airey Cup on Saturday but were pushed all the way by Division Two side E & W Hendred.

Horwood won the toss and elected to bat first and they made a strong start through openers Stuart Parker and Matt Thatcher, who added 49 before the former was run out for 23.

Sam Willett. Pictures by Jake McNulty

Sam Willett. Pictures by Jake McNulty

Sam Willett (33) joined Thatcher (47) and Horwood continued to prosper as the pair added a further 43 to help their side reach 114-4 from 30 overs.

A disastrous collapse quickly followed though as Horwood lost their next five wickets for just 13 runs and the score was suddenly 127-9.

The last pair of Chris McStraw (16no) and Neil Wilkins (12) put on 24 to get the score up to 151 all out and give Horwood a fighting chance.

The visitors frustrated Horwood in the opening stages of their reply and it wasn’t until the eighth over until the hosts made the breakthrough courtesy of a sharp leg side stumping from Willett off the bowling of Dale Armitage.

Neil Wilkins (3-54) was introduced and picked up two wickets in his third over but Hendred continued to score freely and the game was in the balance after 22 overs with the score 77-5.

Matt Mcstraw tipped the tie in Horwood’s favour as he bowled his best spell of the season with great control, taking 3-14 off nine overs.

Josh Nix returned and picked up the crucial wicket of Baring and was able to remove the tail quickly to finish with 3-32 and ensure Horwood’s progression into the next round as Hendred were dismissed for 125.

It wasn’t such good news for Horwood IIs, who lost their cup tie by 50 runs at Risinghurst despite the efforts of Haydon Morrison (3-39) and Pete McHenry (3-19).