Play-off beckons as Royston push to make something of the season
- Credit: Archant
Royston are on course to rescue something from the truncated cricket season after battling their way to a play-off match to decide the champions.
Lockdown meant the season only got going on August 1, with the league splitting the division into two groups of five.
And after four games each, the groups will now come together to determine the final league table, with a one-off game between the teams finishing in each position.
Royston’s 11-run win at home to Cambridge NCI means they top Group B of Cambs & Hunts Premier League CCA Division One and will now host Chatteris, the winners of Group A, to decide the 2020 champions.
The Therfield Heath-based club won three of the four games, their only loss coming to Abington.
They started the campaign strongly with a three-wicket win away to Cambourne, an unbeaten 71 from Bonham Harper seeing them chase down Cambourne’s 181, and it was followed by another comfortable success, this one by 80 runs at home to Great Shelford.
Skipper Martin Leary was the man unbeaten here with 63 while Jim Sipthorp added 56 as Royston posted 220-5. In reply Harper claimed 4-20 and there were two wickets each for Rob and George Greenwood.
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The defeat at Abington was in complete contrast to what had gone before. A poor batting display meant they only managed to score 132 and were beaten by six wickets.
However due to the number of bonus points accrued in the first two games, Royston went into the final game still on top.
Saturday was a bit of a washout but the teams still managed a 25-over contest and brisk knocks from Harper (25), Paul Harris (24), Paul Leary (23) and Paul Miller (20) saw the Crows finish on a respectable 130-6.
In reply Cambridge NCI got off to a sluggish start, Pete Merrell and Phil Hall bowling exceptionally tight line and length, and the latter was rewarded with the scalp of Steve Owston, bowling him through the gate for one.
That was one of two wickets for Hall, matched by two for George Greenwood, but it came down to 13 required off the final over.
And excellent bowling from Harris saw him not only concede just two runs but also claim two wickets in the process, sending Royston through to the final showdown.