Charl on top form for the second week in succession

Charl Willoby fielding.

Charl Willoby fielding. - Credit: Archant

Weston opening bowler Charl Willoughby picked up six wickets for the second week in succession against Lechlade.

WESTON made the 170-mile round trip to Lechlade for the first, but hopefully not final time due to league restructures.

Losing the toss, the visitors were inserted and Lechlade got off to a great start with Hawkes removing Press and Breet trapping Ahmed lbw. Breet made things especially difficult for Fear and Turner, bowling a 10-over spell for just 12 runs.

However, the experienced pair were able to put on 56 for the third wicket with Turner particularly looking in good touch. Godding made the breakthrough as Fear drove straight into the hands of mid-off for a hard fought 17.

Turner continued to trouble Lechlade as he found the boundary seven times on his way to 44 before he was well caught by Burdock up to the stumps.

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The Davidson twins were now tasked with rebuilding the innings and took Weston beyond 110 and on course for a decent score. However, the reintroduction of Hawkes turned the game on its head.

Chris Davdson was adjudged lbw for 18 followed by Ford in the same over. Two overs, later John Davidson was given out in the same fashion for a watchful 17. Ash Allen was caught at cover, again off Hawkes, but Luke Morgan dug in.

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When he fell, Weston were 134-9, but some last wicket defiance from Willoughby (14) and Court (4 not out) accompanied by some extras, Weston were able to get their second batting point before Willoughby edged behind to give Hawkes his seventh wicket leaving Lechlade a target of 157 for victory. Hawkes finished with outstanding figures of 7-29.

Charl Willoughby had the first say when he had Burdock caught behind. However, Godding at the other end crashed four boundaries off Court. Ash Allen came on and the early spin helped slow the chase down.

Willoughby trapped Ellis lbw before Godding nicked behind for 21. With Breet at the crease, Lechlade were still the favourites, but a fine ball from Allen accounted for him for 11.

Thornley and Shah went for the counter attack and got Lechlade to halfway four wickets down before an individual piece of brilliance turned the game back in Weston’s favour.

Willoughby returned to the attack and Thornley immediately smashed him down the ground. Allen covered 50 yards sprinting backwards and took an incredible catch over his shoulder just a foot inside the boundary.

Fear came back on and trapped Sweet lbw before Hawkes and Shah started building again. They added 21 before Ash Allen (10-2-28-2) picked up a deserved second wicket.

Willoughby returned and clean bowled Shah (16) for his fifth wicket and Weston could almost see the finishing line. Willoughby had time for one more, finishing with 9-3-19-6, his second return of six wickets in two weeks.

Chris Davidson picked up the final wicket thanks to a sharp stumping from brother John.

Weston picked up 19 points in this hard-fought victory and all but secured fifth place heading into the final fixture at home to promotion contenders Thornbury.

Ash Allen can certainly consider himself the game changer, but the Forte Financial man of the match again goes to Charl Willoughby.

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