Shock as Town reach Keatley Cup final
ROYSTON Town Cricket Club set up a Keatley Cup Final clash with Reed, after a shock semi-final win over rivals Royston. Having been formed only three years ago, it will be Town s first final, with club captain Steve Gwynne praising his side s five-run vi
ROYSTON Town Cricket Club set up a Keatley Cup Final clash with Reed, after a shock semi-final win over rivals Royston.
Having been formed only three years ago, it will be Town's first final, with club captain Steve Gwynne praising his side's five-run victory.
He said: "It was a great win for Town, and if I'm honest it was a very unexpected one.
"With two Royston clubs playing each other, it was obviously very competitive, and both wanted the win.
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"But we just edged it with a brilliant display of bowling and fielding."
Batting first, Town tried to set the early rhythm, with the returning Shafi blasting a quick-fire 27 and exploiting the short boundary at every opportunity.
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However, the youngster was soon dismissed following a challenging Richard Temple delivery.
And Temple proved to be a more than worthy opponent, as Town struggled to pull away, with only Trimble and Hawkins causing The Crows any problems.
Former Crow Gwynne did offer a spell of resilience with a well-worked 36, but Royston youngster Toby Fynn put a stop to any real threat with his four wickets restricting Town to 107.
The Royston reply looked well set, with both Matt Graham and Paul Miller snatching runs.
However, Town's Abdul and Shafi began to find their range, and tore through the Royston order, taking five and three wickets respectively.
Entering the final over, Royston needed 11.
But the target proved six runs too many as Town held their nerve.
Gwynne said: "At one point I thought that Royston would run away with it, because they got off to a great start.
"But thankfully we managed to slow them down and as a result we got a grip on the game.
"Graham Litson took a match-changing catch midway through the innings, and Shafi and Abdul's bowling was exceptional.
"Our fielding was also spot on, and it was certainly our finest display to date."
Over the years, Royston have been regular finalists in the Keatley Cup, having won the competition 11 times.
But it will be Royston Town contesting the 2008 final, and they will now face last year's winners Reed, who have won the competition for the past five seasons, in Tuesday evening's final at Therfield.
Gwynne said: "To reach the final is absolutely fantastic, and in getting there we have definitely shocked a few people.
"We've now got a chance of winning a trophy, which is something I didn't think would happen as quickly as it has.
"However, this will be our toughest game so far, and Reed will be a difficult team to beat - they certainly won't be taking any prisoners.
"But we can take a lot from our victory in the semi-final and whatever happens, getting this far has already made our season.