Royston sneak five-run victory over Barley

After Royston s recent restructure they chalked up an important victory against local rivals Barley on Saturday. Despite wet conditions the pre-season ground work on the Therfield pitch looked to have been very successful and the pitch was still in good

After Royston's recent restructure they chalked up an important victory against local rivals Barley on Saturday.

Despite wet conditions the pre-season ground work on the Therfield pitch looked to have been very successful and the pitch was still in good condition despite the recent downpour.

Royston lost the toss and were asked to bat - a decision that looked fully justified as the home team's top order found it hard work in testing conditions.

Callum Bacon, Mick Miller and Rory Harper all fell early without reaching double figures as the new look Royston team seemed in danger of being bowled out cheaply. However, Dave Isherwood restored order with a sensible knock to keep Royston in the game. Paul Miller (44) and Ashley Judge (42) then added runs quickly making use of some lose deliveries. With Royston looking set to score an impressive total, the partnership was broken by Chris Trimble (4-0-18-1), Paul Harris then started to rebuild the total but was also dismissed trying to increase the tempo.


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John Harper scored a quick-fire 24 including one huge six which cleared the Pavilion but unfortunately the Royston tail could not support Harper and were eventually bowled out for 155.

With a strong bowling line up Royston felt confident that the runs on the board would be enough to force victory, but a sudden down pour and then constant rain made bowling very difficult, especially with a ball which now resembled a bar of soap.

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At 94-0 after 25 overs, Barley looked in control, however an aggressive spell from Harris (10-3-32-1) and Neil Addison (5-0-18-1) gave Royston hope.

John Harper kept the innings tight at the other end and the run rate soon began to creep up.

Chris Hooton (10-3-33-3) and Toby Fynn (8-2-18-2) were then re-introduced and tightened the screw on the Barley lower order. Dave Isherwood also picked up an important wicket and when Rory Harper produced an inspired piece of wicket keeping to stump the dangerous Barley captain, Royston sensed victory.

The impressive Fynn then began to clean up the tail along with Hooton and Royston squeezed home winning by five runs.

In difficult conditions and against a spirited Barley team Royston can be pleased to have made a positive start to the new era and look forward to the challenge of Foxton this weekend.

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