Royston take another step towards promotion

ROYSTON took another important step towards promotion with a hard fought win against third placed Comberton on Saturday.

ROYSTON took another important step towards promotion with a hard fought win against third placed Comberton on Saturday.

On a damp afternoon Royston were asked to bat after losing the toss but despite the bowler friendly conditions, Mick Miller and Martin Leary got Royston off to a good start, dispatching some lose bowling with ease. Comberton did not help their cause, though, by dropping three early regulation catches.

The two openers took Royston passed 50 until Miller unfortunately played on, off the bowling of Cook. This then prompted a small collapse as Royston lost Leary and Callum Bacon quickly to leave themselves 63-3. Paul Miller and Ashley Judge steadied the ship until a sudden downpour forced the players to leave the pitch.

On return it was obvious that batting was going to be far more difficult, as proven when Miller was dismissed off a ball that leaped off a good length. Captain Paul Harris then joined Judge and the two put together a good partnership as they looked to rebuild the innings, however, constant drizzle made batting very difficult.

Harris then became another victim of the inconsistent batting surface, as he scooped a catch straight back to bowler Samways. Judge then became Samways’ fourth wicket as Royston looked in trouble at 117-7. However a good lower-order stand from Richard Temple (21) and John Harper (19*) allowed Royston to reach a respectable score of 160-9 after their 40 overs.

Aware that opposition opener Samways was in fine form of latewith the bat, Royston knew they had to start well with the ball. There was immediate success for Royston, however, as Temple (9-0-32-2) removed Samways for a duck after just three balls of the Comberton reply. Temple soon had his second wicket, courtesy of a fine catch, this time from Judge at gully. With Temple bowling well at one end, Chris Hootton began to find his line and length at the other, producing a number of unplayable deliveries and he soon got the deserved wicket of Saunders.

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Comberton looked in trouble at 22-3 but J Bloor (49) and R Bloor (31) steadied the ship. A tight spell from Toby Fynn (7-2-17-0) kept the pressure on as the run rate started to climb.

John Harper then removed J Boor after a fine catch from Hootton, and then ran out R Bloor soon after. However, the game was still in the balance with Comberton 110-5 with seven overs remaining. The introduction of Martin Leary soon turned the game into Royston’s favour, as he picked up four quick wickets, ripping through Comberton’s lower order with some fast and straight bowling.

Comberton were eventually bowled out 30 runs short, with just over an over remaining, as Royston’s impressive run continues.

With four games remaining, just two further wins could be enough to ensure promotion for Royston, a further win making it a certainty.