It’ll be a struggle admits Temple

PUBLISHED: 11:47 27 April 2006 | UPDATED: 14:40 12 May 2010

A POOR batting performance saw Royston slump to defeat in their first game in the Tucker Gardener Partnership League Division Two. If this match is anything to go by, Royston face a tough season after last season s relegation, crashing to a 148-run loss a

A POOR batting performance saw Royston slump to defeat in their first game in the Tucker Gardener Partnership League Division Two.

If this match is anything to go by, Royston face a tough season after last season's relegation, crashing to a 148-run loss against Godmanchester Town.

The loss of a number of key players looks to have hit the side, who are playing home games at Therfield.

All-rounder Ali Gordon has returned to South Africa, batsman John Welch has moved to the Carribbean, Gavin Wright has retired because of injury and Charlie Walker-Smith has moved to Division One side Histon.

Royston player-manager Richard Temple admitted that the side had a difficult season ahead of them.

He said: "We look to be struggling for depth in both our batting and bowling - a month ago, second team skipper Tony Clough can't possibly have imagined opening the bowling for the first team. I'm sure some of the new players will do well but it may take some time.

"Replacing four key players will prove a struggle for us and it is worrying that there are only one or two more players that are in contention, and available, for first team places at the moment.

"What was particularly disappointing was the dropped catches, sloppy fielding and number of wides bowled, which meant that we were chasing 231 instead of what could have been 170.

"The only crumb of comfort was that we were playing what will probably be one of the top teams in the league whose first team did not have a game so were able to pick a strong team.

"Hopefully, we can be much more competitive against many of the other teams in the league and that we'll have found our feet by the time we come to our run of nine home games that start at the end of June."

Bowling first, Godmanchester made a steady start against Royston's opening attack of Temple and second team skipper Tony Clough before losing their first wicket in the 11th over with 27 on the board.

Things should have got better for Royston but two dropped catches in succession let Godmanchester off the hook.

At 51-1 off 20 overs, there was still hope of Royston keeping the opposition down to a reasonable total, but they were made to pay for further dropped catches and sloppy fielding as the opposition put together a second-wicket stand of 147.

Tight bowling at the end of the innings ensured the total was limited to 231-6 but, on a slow wicket with a slow outfield, this always looked to be 50 or so more runs than Royston would have liked.

Temple (3-60) and skipper Adam Newman (3-57) were the only visiting bowlers to have any success.

In reply, Royston lost four early wickets and were never in the game, eventually slumping to 83 all out off just 34.1 overs, with only Paul Miller (26) making a decent contribution.

There were disappointing debuts from Sam O'Shea and Craig Hilson, who made just four runs between them.

Royston face a pair of away games this weekend, travelling to Bluntisham on Saturday before visiting Fordham on Monday.

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