CRICKET: NORTON Lindsey’s valiant effort to secure the Cotswold Hills League Premier Division title ended on Saturday after losing out to Long Itchington.
Long Itch won the toss and opted to bat first.
Richard Pozzi managed to stem the flow initially, but no other bowler was able to get a grip on the scoring rate.
Richard Blythe and David McInness both took three wickets, but the damage had been done by the first four batsmen who accumulated over 180 runs between them.
There were further contributions from the middle order, as Itchington used all their overs to set a stiff target of 286.
Top scores came from Jack (56) and Burnell (57), with 48 extras making Norton’s job far more difficult.
The visitors made a terrible start to their reply when numbers one and two – Pozzi and Conor Green – were back in the pavilion by the end of the second over.
This was made worse after regular opener Martin Perfect had been unable to take any further part in the game when he suffered a dislocated finger in the field.
Stuart Shephard and skipper James Pyatt (41) then joined forces to try and rescue the innings, putting on 79 for the third wicket.
After the dismissal of Pyatt, Blythe (28) and Andrew Cooke (22) kept things moving, but Norton were always behind on the rate.
A last ditch effort by McInness (31*) almost got them back on track, but when Shephard was finally dismissed for an impressive 83, it was the end of the chase.
As the last wicket fell, Itchington ran out winners by 35 runs, with Rawbone their most successful bowler, taking 3-43 off seven overs.
Norton’s 9 points from the game saw them tied with Exhall & Wixford, but runs/wickets rules put them in third position in the final table, after what has been an incredible return to the top flight.