Royston battle past spirited Barley

ROYSTON continued their push for promotion with a hard-fought victory against a spirited Barley on Saturday.

ROYSTON continued their push for promotion with a hard-fought victory against a spirited Barley on Saturday.

Royston’s stand-in captain Mick Miller won the toss and did not hesitate to bat first despite the greenish wicket at Barley. The decision looked to have been fully vindicated as Miller and 15-year-old Paul Leary started very positively. In fact, both batsmen passed 50, which was Leary’s first at senior level.

The introduction of Symes (9.2-2-38-6) and Stewart (10-0-59-4), who had dropped down from Barley’s first team, soon put the brakes on Royston’s innings.

Miller was dismissed for 60 and Leary for 50 as Royston crumbled from 111-0 to 138-6 and a large score looked to be out of reach.

No other Royston batsmen could come to terms with the experienced Barley bowlers and only Rory Harper contributed any other meaningful score as he went on to hit 26 valuable runs. Despite the collapse, Royston still posted a reasonable 191.

Barley’s reply got off to a flying start as Royston’s openers struggled to find their lines and P George (46) along with C Trimble (44) consistently found the boundary with ease.

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At 135-2 in the 29th over, the game looked to be going the way of the home side. However, Chris Hooton (10-1-56-2) put his opening spell behind him and provided two important breakthroughs. The ever-reliable John Harper then found his rhythm and the run-rate started to creep up. Fifteen-year-old Toby Fynn also contributed with two more wickets and removed the impressive George just short of his half century as Royston continued to tighten the screw.

Martin Leary then wrapped up the innings as he removed the final five wickets of the Barley order, including three in his last over to end with figures of 5-0-34-5 and Royston restricted Barley to 181 to come out on top.

Royston travel to Thriplow this week in another important game on as they strive for promotion.

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