A 35-RUN victory over Standard (Coventry) was the perfect boost for Rugby ahead of this weekend’s Warwickshire County Premier Division opener against Walmley.
Matthew Ewer’s side came out on top at Tanners Lane thanks to a combination of high-scoring from Rugby’s middle order and a four-wicket salvo from Lee Golding (4-30) to oust the Division One outfit.
After being put into bat by the Standard, Rugby were initially slow to start when opener Raj Chohan (3) fell at 11-1, prior to two wickets in the space of five balls to leave the visitors struggling somewhat at 38-3.
That all changed, however, after the emergence of top-scoring number four Owen Edwards (82) – who shone alongside fellow middle-order batsman Henry Parker – putting on a partnership of 125.
While Parker was eventually caught out by Jason Fox from Minesh Patel’s delivery, Edwards continued in the same vein of scoring form with skipper Ewer (48 n.o).
The Edwards’ Show eventually came to an end 15 runs and two overs prior to Rugby’s eventual score of 238-5, a tally which Standard struggled to threaten until the introduction of their finishers and tail-enders.
After Golding had skittled out four of the hosts’ opening six batsman, the Coventry side eventually found their feet when number seven James Searle (94) stepped up to the plate.
Initially taking his side over the 100-run mark with Kyle Miller, the aforementioned falling at 108-7, Searle found another gear with his second partner Liam Windridge (38 n.o) when putting on a stand of 90 runs.
George Terry’s dismissal of Searle with only eight balls remaining then cemented Rugby’s inevitable victory, though Standard will take heart from their late revival.
Elsewhere, Willoughby’s Saturday XI hosted Southam in a local derby that went the way of the former in a straightforward seven-wicket win.
The visitors batted first after winning the toss, starting brightly with opener Pete Burnell (48) leading the way, but falling away sharply after losing their talisman – Mark Fell (5-27) the main instigator of Southam’s downfall.
With a score of 120 to beat, Willoughby quickly kicked on after losing Matt Cartridge (0) early on, with Ashley Rayner (33 n.o) retiring after a partnership of 77 with debutant Anshul Satsangi (48).
Martyn Norman (20 n.o) then smashed the remaining runs required to stroll to victory with over ten overs to spare.
On Saturday, Willoughby host Braunston Paddox in another friendly, whilst Southam have to wait until April 24 for their next warm-up – a trip to Rowington.