Still no joy as Royston battle in vain for first league win

PUBLISHED: 12:42 31 May 2007 | UPDATED: 15:06 12 May 2010

A SPIRITED performance from Royston was not enough to secure their first win of their league campaign, as they went down against a strong Stapleford side on Saturday. Royston began steadily, but failed to get away from the strict bowling of Day (12-1-42-

A SPIRITED performance from Royston was not enough to secure their first win of their league campaign, as they went down against a strong Stapleford side on Saturday.

Royston began steadily, but failed to get away from the strict bowling of Day (12-1-42-1) and Lorimer (12-2-21-3), scoring only nine runs from the opening five overs.

Despite looking set at the crease, Matt Graham holed out flicking a leg-side delivery to deep midwicket, and two overs later, Ken Graham was caught behind after the ball seemingly clipped his pad.

It was only when Naved Ahmed (20) and Matt Graham (18) came to the crease that things picked up for Royston.

Some adventurous batting and promising stroke play took the score to 70.

Fifteen-year-old Martin Leary then punished the Stapleford attack, and posted an impressive 45.

Captain Craig Holsen made a tidy 34, and John Basin stayed by Leary's side until the close of the innings, helping Royston reach 179-7.

Opening with Chris Hootton (11.4-1-46-0) and Matt Gillham (12-3-45-3), Royston looked to contain Stapleford, but their opponents rode their luck.

Graham was brought into the attack and struck with his first delivery, a long hop that resulted in opening batsmen Johnson (47) falling to a fine running catch on the boundary from Ahmed.

Having clawed Stapleford back to 103-5, Royston looked to press the home advantage, and wickets fell steadily, with Gillham and Graham taking three and four respectively.

With the target total approaching, Royston managed to reduce Stapleford by eight wickets down, but ultimately there were not enough runs on the scoreboard for Royston to play with, and they succumbed with eight overs to go in spite of a monumental team effort in the field.

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