Royston contine fine start to the campaign

CCA Junior Division 2C

Helions Bumpstead 142 (35.3 overs)

Royston 145-5 (35.5)

Royston won by five wickets

ROYSTON continued their early good form on Saturday with a convincing win away from home at Helions Bumpstead.

Helions won the toss and on one of the hottest days of the year so far, elected to bat first on what looked a decent wicket. Royston’s opening bowlers Martin Leary and Philip Hall bowled well from the off and Leary struck early dismissing opening batsman Manning lbw for a duck before Hall removed the other opener, caught behind for 16.

Helions looked to play positively though and recovered from 22-2 to reach 80-2 just before the halfway stage. However, Royston spinner Matt Gillham bagged the key wicket of Lewis for 39 and this triggered somewhat of a collapse, reducing Helions to 101-6.

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With the introduction of Bonham Harper into the attack, the tail was quickly wrapped up and the pick of the bowlers were Matt Gillham (10-2-38-3) and Bonham Harper (3-1-9-3).

In response, Royston opened up with Mick Miller and Ashley Judge but the latter was bowled early on for eight. Leary joined Mick Miller at the crease and the two of them batted sensibly to take to score on to 37 before Miller drove firmly, but uppishly to cover and was caught for 17.

Following swiftly after him was new batsman Paul Miller for a duck and at 38-3, Royston looked to be precariously placed but Robbie Ponting, in at five, and Leary batted calmly to ensure the innings remained on track, taking the score up to 65-3. Unfortunately the wickets of Leary (28) and Ponting (10) both fell in quick succession leaving the score at 71-5 with another 72 still required for victory.

Martin Leary and skipper Paul Harris consequently found themselves together in the middle and began to take advantage of some of Helions’ loose bowling. A flurry of boundaries saw the total surge forward past 100 and soon only another 40 were required.

A late drinks break threatened to break the concentration of Leary and Harris, but they stuck to their task and ended up knocking the runs off with ease and time to spare, Leary ending on 47* and Harris on 25*.

Crows skipper Harris said afterwards: “the victory was all in all a pleasing one and in the end turned out to be a convincing one. I’m particularly pleased with the manner in which we bowled – managing to restrict them to only 142 in hot and tricky bowling conditions was an excellent effort and made the run chase a lot easier.

“Next week we have our first home game of the season up at Therfield and will play host to Abington, at which point we will look to make it three wins from three.”