FOLLOWING a fitness test on Friday evening, Great Horwood 1st XI skipper Sam Willett decided to play himself the following day in the OCA Division One match against Charlbury, despite still being severely hampered by the hamstring injury suffered the previous Saturday.
Winning the toss, Willett batted first and with quick singles out of the question, progress was initially slow and following the loss of Matt McStraw, a good partnership with Phil Aconley developed.
At Aconley’s departure the skipper adjusted his game plan-going for his shots, Willett managed to provide more impetus to the innings as he scored 92 runs, taking him impressively yet again over the 600-run mark for the league season.
Late runs from the lower middle order enabled Horwood to reach 180-7 off their 45 overs. In the reply, Matt McStraw again bowled well taking a crucial early wicket, but the game was still alive for some time as Charlbury fought hard to gain a crucial win. The departure of their skipper to a wasteful run out finally turned the game Horwood’s way and with Simon Ridgway taking 4-41, they eased to a 20-run victory with Charlbury closing on 160-9.
A crucial win for Horwood that moved them upto fifth in the league and their Division 1 status seemingly secured.
>>Great Horwood 2nds travelled to promotion seeking Wantage Town, looking to avenge a comprehensive defeat earlier in the season.
Despite absences and first team call-ups, Horwood put together a solid batting performance, with several players getting good starts, but the innings lacked that one big innings needed to take the score over 200 and to challenge the strong home batting line up.
Late runs from skipper Taylor and Dan Willett saw their side close on 180 all out.
Wantage have scored runs freely all season, and despite tight bowling and pushing the home side all the way, Wantage eventually won by six wickets and three overs to spare.
A good battling performance by the team against strong opposition and a good warm-up for the upcoming Osberton Radiator Cup final.
>> Great Horwood 3rds travelled to play Kilkenny in a game that became almost a mirror image of the previous game this season between these sides.
This time though it was Kilkenny’s turn to bat first and post a daunting score; closing on 259-6 against Horwood’s depleted bowling attack.
Fourteen-year-old Henry Sweeney bowled well and Jack Goodger took 3-93. In their reply Horwood lost two batsmen for ducks, but Peter McHenry and Sweeney pulled things back. Good contributions came from Dan Garrett and Sid Sirrett, but even with the prolific Sweeney making 53, the task was too big and Horwood succumbed for 158 all out and a disappointing defeat against a side they had easily beaten before.
Sunday saw Harrow Wayfarers visit Great Horwood for a 40 over friendly.
A popular travelling side who enjoy all the positive aspects of the game, Wayfarers set a challenging total of 213-7, with Dan Willett taking the bowling honours with 3-30.
In the reply, Steve Willett made 46, Simon Ridgway 31 not out and the promising Andy Brunning (55) made his maiden half century for the club as Horwood chased down the total for the loss of five wickets.
This weekend sees the much-awaited Osberton Radiators Cup Final against East Oxford II, with the match to be hosted at Great Horwood.
The previous day sees Great Horwood 1st XI travel to Minster Lovell, while Horwood 2nds entertain Uffington and the 3rds host Westcott II.