Lillington A unable to keep pace with red-hot Draycott
Three teams from Lillington Free Church and one from Rugby competed on the final day of the National Cadet League, staged in Wellingborough on Sunday, writes Phil John.
After Day 3, Lillington A were lying second in Division One and a 6-0 win over Bedford, a 5-1 success against St Neots A, which included two fine wins for Eduardo Bolanos and Tom Yarrow over England number 93 Mark Balon, and a 4-2 win over Milton Keynes added to a draw with Corby Smash.
This consolidated the runners-up spot by a margin of 15 points but they could do nothing about a strong Draycott A (Long Eaton) side who romped to the title by 11 points, defeating Lillington 5-1 in the process.
Josh Yarrow finished third in the averages on 80 per cent, Eduardo Bolanos returned 63 per cent and reserve Tom Yarrow a very encouraging 60 per cent.
Lillington B led Division Two going in to Day 4 and were not to disappoint, taking the title by ten points.
They defeated their C side 5-1, Owain Jones nabbing C’s consolation, and accounted for Rugby 5-1.
In this match of local interest, Nicholas Ho beat William Chen and Alex Bowe, Joe Shrimpton defeated Chen and Josh Tyagi and Eleanor Fletcher overcame Tyagi but lost to Bowe.
Bedford B were also swept aside 5-1, St Neots B were pipped 4-2 and Lillington recovered from 3-1 down to draw with Draycott B.
Reserve Joe Shrimpton, playing as number three, did his team-mates proud by winning 90 per cent of his matches. Nicholas Ho and Eleanor Fletcher were not far behind with 70 per cent returns.
A weakened Lillington C, who had exceeded expectations by achieving a place in Division Two, began the day in fifth.
However, they had a day to remember, hauling themselves to a comfortable fourth position with some excellent performances.
Despite the loss to their B team they thumped Rugby 5-1 with Jones beating Tyagi and Chen, Chris Ho accounting for Tyagi and Tyler Humphries and George Barnes also beating Humphries but losing to Chen.
Another 5-1 win was achieved against Bedford B, St Neots B were dispatched 4-2 and Draycott B held to a 3-3 draw.
Number one George Barnes enjoyed a 60 per cent average, while Jones and debutant Chris Ho both posted impressive 50 per cent returns.
With only Josh Yarrow being too old to play in the cadets next season, Lillington’s future looks rosy.
Rugby finished fifth in the strong Division Two.
As well as their encounters with the Lillington sides, they had an excellent win over runners-up Draycott by a 4-2 margin.
Bedford B were held 3-3 and a narrow 4-2 loss was recorded in their match with St Neots B.
Using a squad of four, Alex Bowe’s average was an impressive 72 per cent, William Chen bagged 37 per cent, Tyler Humphries 25 per cent and Josh Tyagi 14 per cent.