Sam G-A reporting from Willoughby:
Long Itch turned up at Willoughby CC to face Rugby Telecom with a strong side out. Long Itch won the toss and decided to bat on the Astro wicket. John Lidster was due to open with Sam Green-Armytage but due to his inability to remove his spikes from his shoes meant Finn Peacocke came out to open instead. This proved fruitful as the two of them set off like a rocket, keeping the scoring above 10s an over the whole way through the partnership. With some strong hitting accompanied by good running (for the most part) from both batsmen as they put on an opening stand of 87 until Green-Armytage was run out in the 8th over for 39 off 22 balls. Lidster had finally managed to sort his spikes out and him and Finn continued the scoring taking the score to 115 in the 12th over when Finn holed out to long on for a strong 45 off 30 balls. After this, things didn’t quite continue as swimmingly with Long Itch losing regular wickets on their way to 165-9 off 20 overs. Jake Butler and Pete Mckenna, making well-needed scores of 10 and 14 respectively, pushed Long Itch up to what seemed quite a decent total. There was a moment of comedy in the innings as Dan McCarthy (who’s dad was umpiring at the time) came out with no pads on! No one on the pitch noticed until after Dan had faced a ball who then, red-faced had to return to the pavilion to put them on. Zach Aulakh (3-1-12-2) and Jake Butler (4-0-12-1) opened the bowling for Long Itch with Zach picking up the early wicket. Both bowled very accurately, containing the Rugby Telecom batsmen well. Chris Wickham (4-0-28-1) came on as first change on debut and picked up the wicket of the other opener caught behind which made up for some suspect chat…! Captain McKenna came on and bowled, as he described it, “like a Nissan Leaf”, going for 22 off his 2 overs. This brought on the midweek stalwarts of Ben Wilson (3-0-23-0) and the joint-top wicket taker in the division Dan McCarthy (4-0-23-2). They carried on this containment well, meaning Rugby Telecom never had a sniff in a game which Long Itch dominated for the most part. Ben came back extremely well for his third over after an expensive 2nd over to finish with very respectable figures whilst Dan only conceded 9 runs off the bat. Rugby Telecom finished up on 122-7 from their 20 overs meaning a 43 run win for the Itch. All in all a strong team performance all round from Long Itch who notched their second win of the campaign taking them up to second in the table behind Hunningham. Bring on the plate semi-final next week!