CRICKET: KINDER weather allowed for a full house of Cotswold Hills League fixtures following a frustrating washout the previous weekend.
And Norton Lindsey & Wolverton CC took full advantage of the favourable weather to record a pair of crushing victories.
The first team faced Alcester and Ragley on the road, and stand in skipper Martin Perfect lost the toss and was asked to bat first.
Perfect (36) and fellow opener Gavin Shepherd took full advantage of this, reaching 98 for the first wicket.
Richard Pozzi then arrived at the middle to join Shepherd. The pair demolished the Alcester bowling – putting on 155 runs in the next 22 overs.
Shepherd reached his century in just 94 balls, and then raced to 150 off just 25 further deliveries.
He was finally dismissed for a sensational 156, scoring 23 boundaries, including seven maximums.
Pozzi (39) perished not long after, leaving Steve Rushton (25*) and Andy Cooke (1*) to lift the score to a challenging 286/3 at the innings close.
Alcester & Ragley were never in the hunt as they attempted to chase the total down.
Accurate spells from all Norton bowlers restricted their opportunities to score.
All-rounder Pozzi inflicted the most damage, removing both openers and finishing with figures of 27/3 off nine overs.
With the score on 60/4 at drinks, Alcester were always well behind on the rate and wickets continued to fall.
As wickets fell around him, number three batsman Warbrick (60) held strong.
When Oliver Swinburn (46*) came to the crease, Warbrick helped Alcester make progress.
However, Alcester were well short at the end when the score had meandered to 162-7 – handing 20 points to the visitors.
The win sees Norton remain in 3rd place in the Premier Division, making ground on Exhall & Wixford and Wellesbourne, who both lost.
At Wolverton Road, the second string welcomed Stanway – mindful of their first meeting in early June that had produced nearly 600 runs.
After losing the toss, Norton were inserted to bat, and Kieran Kite (2) departed in the second over as Andy O’Brien found some good swing with the ball.
Conor Green joined Fell (37) and the pair worked hard to push the score to 75 in the 17th over, when the skipper was bowled by Tim Cull.
After a brief visit by Andrew Dellow (10), Green slipped into gear with James Robins and the pair began to send the change bowling in all directions.
They shared a partnership of 114 runs, before Robins (57) was caught trying to clear the ropes for the 5th time.
Impressive scoring from Charles Tustain (52*) saw 92 runs added in the concluding ten overs as Stanway were set a target of 295.
After tea, a good spell of opening bowling Steve Bliwert failed to remove Stanway’s opening batsmen.
At 119/0 after 26 overs, Tom de Freston we brought into the attack. And he had an immediate impact when Haines was caught for 41.
With the weather deteriorating, Norton rushed to bowl sufficient overs to constitute a full game.
Once this was achieved, both teams elected to stay out in light rain to earn bonus points.
Further wickets fell, but number eight batsman O’Brien (16*) managed to survive the gathering gloom, and with Cull (5*) edged the score to 178-7 just before the heavens opened.