CCA Junior League 2C

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Abington 150 (38.1 overs)

Royston 116-5 (36.3)

Abington won by 34 runs

ROYSTON suffered their first defeat of the season at home to Abington on Saturday, in a game that twisted and turned but eventually went in favour of the visitors.

Royston skipper Paul Harris won the toss and decided to bowl first and opening bowlers Richard Temple and Martin Leary did not take long to get amongst the wickets. Leary struck in the second over of the innings, bowling Simon Bishop. Temple bowled with pace and bounce from the other end and was rewarded with two wickets for himself in quick succession leaving Abington floundering at 9-3.

Temple then took a third wicket shortly after and with the score at 36-4 and Abington’s top order having been dismissed Royston looked well in the driving seat. Steve Russen, batting at number six, arrived at the crease and had other ideas, though. Playing positive shots and looking to get on the front foot to the Royston bowling, he formed somewhat of a one-man comeback.

The slow option of Jon Harper was brought into the attack and set about dismissing the Abington lower-order in the hope that Russen would run out of partners and be left stranded. Harper bowled excellently and took four quick wickets, reducing Abington to 113-9, but Russen still remained. A frustrating partnership of 37 for the tenth wicket took the score to 150, a competitive score, before Russen was finally caught on the boundary for a match-turning 72 runs. The pick of the Royston bowlers were Richard Temple (10-1-23-3) and Jon Harper (6-2-24-4).

In reply, Royston got off to an average start with opening brothers Paul and Martin Leary looking to be patient against the accurate Abington bowling, led again by Steve Russen. Russen made the breakthrough, clean bowling Paul Leary for four and Martin Leary (12) fell soon after. Paul Miller was also quickly removed by Webb without scoring and this left Sam Montague-Fuller and Mick Miller with a huge rebuilding job with the score only at 16-3.

Together they saw off the rest of the opening bowling, but unfortunately with the hard work having been done, Montague-Fuller was caught and bowled by Hamper for 15 having taken the score to 63-4. Mick Miller proved to be the foundation of the Royston innings, batting with great temperament and shot selection. Unfortunately, Royston wickets carried on falling around him and eventually he too was out caught for a gritty and well deserved 48. Temple and Harper looked to hit a few lusty blows late on down the order but by this stage the game looked out of reach for Royston and the 10th wicket fell with the score on 115, 34 runs short of Abington’s total.

Royston skipper Harris said after the game: “We didn’t really do a lot wrong to be honest, which is why it is a frustrating loss. We bowled well and would have had them out for probably less than 100 if it had not been for the effort of one man’s match-winning innings. “Abington then bowled well and unfortunately only Mick Miller was able to make a notable impression on the scorecard. Another contribution of 30-odd runs and the game would have been ours. We’ll put this one behind us though and look forward to the next game, in two weeks time, at home to Saffron Walden, where we’ll get back to winning ways.”

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