Everards County League: Townsend fires Barkby to emphatic win at Rothley Park

First for sports news PNL-140425-121333003

First for sports news PNL-140425-121333003

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A fantastic all-round display and season-best figures from Rob Townsend helped Barkby seal an emphatic win against Rothley Park on Saturday.

After losing the toss on a muggy afternoon, Barkby were ready to put the disappointment of their defeat to Syston firmly behind them.

Ian Kirk and Jack Johnson took the new ball and produced high quality spells to put the Rothley top order under pressure.

Eventually the pressure took toll when Kirk had Charles Dagnall, of Leicestershire and TMS fame, caught by the diving Carmichael at mid-on.

Soon after, Johnson had Michael Reed caught at mid-on before Kenyan wicket-keeper Irfan Karim was caught smartly behind the wicket by Troop.

Kirk removed Williams to pave the way for Townsend to take over. Bowling in tandem with Eamonn Bourke, who did not gain the rewards he deserved, Townsend produced a devastating spell of 6 for 16.

Backed up well in the field, Townsend ripped through the middle and lower order to skittle Rothley for 82.

Bowling with control and guile he had Khan snaffled at midwicket by captain Flowers, before bowling Kent for 29. A miraculous catch at slip from Tom Flowers, was followed by an easier catch to give Townsend two more victims to leave Rothley tottering at 76-8.

Townsend had Smith caught behind for 0 just a few balls later and ended the innings when he had Hackett chop onto the stumps, a fine display of control and skill by the Barkby bowlers against a tough line-up.

With 19 overs to bat before tea, Matt Boyce headed out with Kirk to chase down the 83 required for a massive 25 points.

Despite the early wickets of Kirk and Tom Flowers, Boyce and captain Steve Flowers steadied the ship, mixing caution with flair in the face of aggressive bowling to take the score to 67 before Boyce was caught and bowled by Dagnall for a well made 34.

Man of the moment Townsend stroked two early boundaries off a fired-up Atif Sheikh to take the required score down to single figures.

The captain went for a well-made 27, including a trademark pulled six, but victory was secured in 15.4 overs as Townsend fittingly hit the winning runs.

The win lifted Barkby up to fourth in the Premier. They host Barrow at Beeby Road on Saturday (noon start).