Tenth win of the season for league leaders Royston

Rob Gill batting for Royston CC

Rob Gill batting for Royston CC - Credit: Archant

League leaders Royston recorded their 10th Junior One South win of the season on Saturday with what was ultimately a comfortable win over Thriplow 2nds.

The Crows won the toss and asked the visitors to bat first. They were rewarded with wickets almost immediately with Richard Temple dismissing Duncan Walker, caught at slip, in the second over.

Fellow opening bowler Pete Merrell plugged away at the other end and Thriplow were quickly reduced to 32-4 as Merrell bagged himself the wickets of Andrew Woolley and Andrew Craze before Temple (5-0-13-2) trapped Ivan Bennett lbw for 10.

Merrell bowled to the end with 10-2-24-3 while Phil Hall took over from Temple and in turn cracked out an equally impressive spell of 10-4-13-2 as Thriplow crumbled to 62-7.

Matt Gillham (6-0-9-1) bowled with his usual control and guile to dismiss Torin Phelps and then a superb direct-hit run-out from Merrell sent Hugh Spotswood (18) back to the pavilion with Royston needing just one more wicket.

This was provided by Max Kindred who came on to bowl four balls and cleaned up Rick Hales with a slower ball, curtailing Thriplow’s innings for 72 all out.

Royston in response made a terrible start, opener Paul Leary being bowled by Will Meadows in the first over, only to be swiftly followed by the departures of Sam Montague-Fuller and Kindred, both of whom were caught behind.

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With Royston floundering on 6-3, Rob Gill looked to counter-attack in order to restore a level of respectability to the Royston run chase, however after three excellently struck boundaries, he mistimed one and was caught at long-off for 12.

Skipper Martin Leary joined Matt Houghton in the middle and the pair looked to bring some calm to proceedings, seeing off the rest of Meadows’ spell, only for Houghton (eight) to then edge behind off the bowling of Woolley, leaving Royston on 41-5 and still requiring 32 runs for victory.

Paul Miller (four) and Martin Leary (39 not out) chased down the remaining runs without further incident however, and saw Royston home to a five-wicket win inside 20 overs.

Afterwards, Paul Leary said: “The pitch certainly seemed to become trickier to bat on as the day went on, however Thriplow bowled fantastically well and really piled the pressure on us, which in turn forced us to really work for our runs.

“That said, our performance in the field and with the ball in their innings justified us coming away with the victory.

“We took all our chances and were clinical in the field and so I believe we certainly deserved the win.”

Royston travel to third-placed Wilbrahams on Saturday.