Captain Leary hails ‘fantastic’ win

CCA Junior League 2C

Royston: 175-9 (40 overs)

Abington IIs: 152 all-out (37.4 overs)

Royston won by 23 runs

‘FANTASTIC’ was the word Royston captain, Martin Leary, used to describe his side’s win over mid-table rivals Abington on Saturday.

On a hot, sunny day and with a hard and flat wicket, Royston won the toss and elected to bat. Mick Miller and Paul Leary opened up and looked to make a steady start to the innings, which they were successful in doing, especially against some tight bowling from Abington.

Mick Miller was trapped lbw however in the 11th over with the score on 31, bringing Martin Leary to join his brother at the crease. The two of them batted sensibly and exploited the somewhat lackadaisical Abington fielding with numerous quick singles, pushing the score to 76-1 at the halfway stage – a promising platform.

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Martin Leary was dismissed two overs after the drinks break, and Paul Leary followed suit during the next over for a well made 41. This triggered a small collapse and, with only Paul Miller offering any resistance as wickets tumbled around him taking the score to 116-7, it appeared as though Royston might have squandered a prime opportunity to post an imposing total.

Miller paced his innings beautifully, though, and some late hitting saw him reach his half century and more importantly take Royston on to a competitive-looking score. When he was bowled by Franklin for 50 it looked as though that would signal the end to proceedings, but Bonham and John Harper had different ideas, and the two of them added a vital 45 runs in the last four overs to take Royston to 175-9 from their 40 overs, a score that was under-par but certainly defendable.

The Abington response got off to a poor start as Royston pacemen, Fynn and Hall, struck with early wickets, cleaning up Bishop and Ketteridge for only 17 runs between them.

First change bowlers Martin Leary and John Harper continued the good work and Leary bagged two more wickets in the 15th over, leaving Abington on 45-4 and looking vulnerable. Tiplady and Hamper, who was batting with a runner, began to build a partnership, however, and the score soon motored to 105-4 in the next 10 overs until Hamper finally edged behind to Bonham Harper for a threatening 30.

From then on Royston looked definite favourites and continued to take frequent wickets, which suffocated the runs and kept the pressure right on their opponents. A late rearguard offensive from Little did leave the Royston players and spectators with their hearts in their mouths momentarily, but with two overs to spare, the returning Philip Hall secured the wicket of Little, caught on the boundary for 25, and the game was won with Abington all-out for 152 and Hall ending with impressive figures of 8.4-1-33-4.

Skipper Leary commented after the game: “We knew we’d not scored as many runs as we should have but we also knew that if we bowled well and took wickets often enough, then we could defend our total.

“It was a close game but we put in a real team performance to secure a great win. We have two home games coming up now, this Saturday against Cokenach in a friendly and then the following week against Burrough Green back in the league. July has started well for us and hopefully we can continue in a winning vein.”