CRICKET: A DISAPPOINTING loss at Exhall last week was put to the back of Norton Lindsey’s mind after the club’s 1st XI bounced back to defeat Long Itchington by 14 runs.
The win sees Norton Lindsey placed third in the Cotswold Hills League Premier Division at the half-way stage.
With fellow high-fliers Wellesbourne visiting Wolverton Road next Saturday, the club is entering a crucial few weeks if they are to challenge for the league title.
After losing the toss, Norton were put into bat.
Openers Martin Perfect and Steve Rushton started well with some confident shots from Rushton (18) until he was comprehensively dismissed by Zach Aulakh in the fourth over.
Perfect fell soon after to put the innings in trouble, and with the departure of other top order players including the skipper James Pyatt (32), this left Norton at 60/5.
Norton were eventually bowled out for 191 with David McInnes (23) and Glenn Lacey (34) starring.
The bowling attack then ground down the opposition with the only significant stand coming from Long Itch skipper James Clarke (29) and Tom Cooper (34).
Long Itchington were eventually dismissed for 177, but Norton made a difficult job much harder, gifting the opposition 40 extras.
Norton’s 2nd XI made the short trip to the picturesque Stoneleigh ground for a key Division Three fixture against an in-form side.
Skipper Dan Fell won the toss and chose to bat first.
Stoneleigh demonstrated why they are the leading bowling side in the division when Richard Pozzi (2) was removed in the second over.
However, this was just a false start as Conor Green (57) then joined Fell to put on 144 for the second wicket.
Norton’s progress was assisted by numerous dropped catches – and when Fell (81) was removed in the 30th over, a firm base had been laid.
Mark White (39), playing his best innings of the season, worked well with Green to push the score to 192 with nine overs remaining when he was trapped lbw.
The lower order were restricted by good Stoneleigh bowling and fielding, but managed to set a competitive target of 237.
After tea, the visitors rose to the occasion, producing by far their best bowling and fielding performance of the season – leaving Stoneleigh at 10/3 after ten overs.
The introduction of Green and Pozzi then strangled the reply further and at drinks they had limped to 54.
Middle order bats Thomas (31), Chapman (24), and Edgington (52) tried to recover something for the hosts, but once they were removed by Pozzi and Kieran Kite the game was all but over.
Stoneleigh were dismissed for 165 consolidating Norton’s second place in the division.