Opening-day victory for Royston over newly promoted Great Chishill

Max Kindred batting for Royston CC

Max Kindred batting for Royston CC - Credit: Archant

Saturday saw a dream start to Royston’s Junior League One South campaign as the first XI cantered home to a fourwicket win away at newly promoted Great Chishill.

Chishill probably did not rank highly on the Crows’ list of ideal opening fixtures, the hosts having put together an impressive 11-game winning streak during 2015 which ultimately won them promotion.

That said, Royston ended last season in similarly fine form, and so the game promised to be a close affair.

The hosts won the toss and elected to bat.

The opening 10 overs were uneventful besides the dismissal of Daniel Nicholes who went hard at one from Royston opener Max Kindred and was bowled for 10.

Spinner Matt Gillham came into the attack to remove James Piper, which brought Angus Gent to the crease with the score at 43-2.

Gent immediately looked to get on the offensive, striking Rohan Shetge for a six over mid-wicket, before offering a tough chance to long-leg, which was unfortunately not taken.

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This drop proved to be costly, as Gent went on to make 99, before finally being dismissed by Kindred with the score on 190-5.

Some late hitting saw Chishill end on 215, a competitive score to say the least, but one that was very gettable on what was a free-scoring ground.

Pick of the Royston bowling attack was Kindred who ended with the enviable figures of 10-1-21-4.

Royston lost early wickets in response, Mick Miller, Sam Montague-Fuller, Paul Miller and Rob Gill all perishing cheaply, which handed a distinct advantage to the home side with Royston on 68-4.

Martin Leary joined his brother Paul at the crease and the pair looked to steer the innings back on course, which they succeeded in doing, putting on 62 for the fifth wicket to take the score to 130-5 before Martin fell to Nicholes for 31.

Shetge did not last long and with the score on 145-6, Kindred met Paul Leary in the middle.

The pair proceeded to knock off the remaining 71 runs required for victory at just over a run a ball.

Kindred ended with an excellent 39* from 25 balls and Paul Leary carried his bat for a spectacular match-winning 93* from 103 balls to secure the triumph.

Vice-captain Martin Leary said: “To get the season off to a winning start is always so key, and it’s even more pleasing when it’s carried out in such a professional and accomplished fashion.

“It gives everyone a big boost and instills a lot of confidence. Huge congratulations in particular to Paul Leary and Max whose efforts saw us over the line in the end.”

This Saturday, Royston host Audley End & Littlebury at Therfield Recreation Ground.

Play is due to begin at 1.30pm.