Everards County League Barkby United outmuscled at Loughborough on Premier return

Matt Boyce hit 65 in his first match of the season for Barkby EMN-160426-111255002
Matt Boyce hit 65 in his first match of the season for Barkby EMN-160426-111255002
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A half-century from former county batsman Matt Boyce could not help Barkby avoid a heavy defeat on their Premier Division return at Loughborough Town on Saturday.

Captain Steve Flowers lost the toss and was asked to bat first on an excellent surface against a strong Loughborough attack.

The visitors began nicely with Matt Boyce and Ian Kirk coming through the first seven overs unscathed with 41 on the board.

But Kirk’s dismissal, lbw to a full-pitched delivery for 13, brought about a mini-collapse as the Flowers brothers fell in quick succession to leave the score precariously on 53-3 from 12 overs.

Aiden Morris provided much-needed support for Boyce and they continued to play an aggressive brand of cricket as the score leapt up towards the 100 mark.

Morris perished chasing a wide, full ball for 20, bringing Rob Townsend to the crease, but with the slow bowlers coming into the game, runs began to dry up.

Townsend played nicely for his 13 before hitting one straight to extra cover and when Boyce fell in the same over for a well-made 65, Barkby were teetering at 144-6 with 15 overs remaining.

Eamonn Bourke and Ryan Waplington steadied the ship, but runs were increasingly hard to come by. Bourke was stumped for 10 and Barkby’s innings struggled to find any momentum as they limped to a below-par 191-9 from their 50 overs.

Loughborough’s reply started briskly and sprinted to 67-0 off 10 overs as new ball duo Morris and Ryan Waplington struggled to find their rhythm.

Ian Kirk provided some brief control, but the hosts still picked up frequent singles and boundaries.

Jack Johnson, making his premier league debut, ran in hard, but also struggled to contain the batsmen, while Rob Townsend, who picked up 46 wickets in Division 1 last year, bowled beautifully throughout his nine-over spell and was unlucky to go wicketless.

Spinners Jamie Drake and Eamonn Bourke tried in vain to find the breakthrough, coupled with two dropped catches, as Loughborough cantered to a 10-wicket win inside 35 overs.

Barkby will hope this performance is out of their system by Saturday when they host Sileby Town at Beeby Road.