Royston shock league leaders for second straight win

Martin Leary bowls for Royston

Martin Leary bowls for Royston - Credit: Archant

Skipper Paul Harris praised what he called Royston’s best bowling and fielding performance of the season to take a second successive league win, this time over leaders Linton.

Matt Gillham (4-22) and Richard Temple (3-36) were the pick of the bowlers as the visitors were removed way inside their 50 overs quota.

Paul Leary (60) was head and shoulders above his team-mates in the batting department as Royston cruised to the win and Harris was left eulogising at the conclusion.

Harris said: “Today was our best bowling and fielding performance of the season and showed what we can do when we have our best side out and players are performing to somewhere near their ability.

“In terms of the run chase, Paul Leary played an excellent knock and showed the kind of application that hasn’t often been there in our batting performances this campaign.

“This shows how frustrating and inconsistent the season has been.”

Harris won the toss and opted to put the visitors into bat.

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His decision was quickly vindicated as Linton, victorious in seven of their last eight games, were reduced to 12-3.

First, Temple clean bowled key batsman Stephen Livermore for 0, before Phil Hall did the same to Pete Gordon for seven.

Temple then added his second with the wicket of Linton skipper Flynn who made five before falling to an astonishing full-length flying catch by Josh Holmes at cover.

The dangerous Ajay Joseph (27) played his usual attacking game and began to lift Linton out of trouble, however, when he picked out Harris off the bowling of the newly introduced Holmes, the Crows were back on top at 48-4.

Linton showed some backbone to get to 118-7 but Gillham accounted for both Anil Joseph for five and the final wicket of Newman, removed for two, capping off a successful day with the ball.

The Crows began the run chase well as Mick Miller (18) and Paul Leary successfully negotiated the opening bowlers while the scoreboard ticked over.

The first wicket partnership had put on 49 when Miller was run out returning for a second run. This brought Martin Leary to the crease to join his brother and the two ensured that Royston remained on course, putting pressure on Linton with some sharp running before Martin Leary was dismissed for 13 with the score on 76-2. Paul Miller followed shortly after for 0 and Linton sensed a possible collapse.

Paul Leary remained composed however, and along with Rob Gill, they saw the score past 100 before the latter departed for eight. As the target grew closer, Leary became more expansive and joined by Harris, the two plundered 24 runs in three overs to all but finish the contest.

The winning runs would be left to Temple (four not out) and Harper (six not out) though, as first Leary was bowled for 60 by Josh Newman (3-20) and then Harris miscued to cover for 10 off Joseph (1-31).

Royston travel to Haslingfield this Saturday.