Royals back on A-grade winning list

Tim EdmundsAlbany Advertiser

Royals have broken through for their first win of the new Merrifield Real Estate Albany Cricket Association season, scraping over the line in a thrilling run chase against Collingwood Park on Saturday afternoon.

In their second game of returning to the A-grade competition, the Lions ended a 679-day drought between top-grade wins, with the club’s last triumph coming on December 19, 2015.

Only three players — captain Jack Hastie, Cohen Chapman and Liam Andrew — were in the side in the last win in round 8 of the 2015-16 season and each played a decisive role in the Lions’ narrow win on Saturday at Collingwood Park.

Attempting to defend 143, Park conceded 26 sundries before the first wicket fell with the score on 47 when Shameer Ahmed was caught behind for 8 off Park captain Tim Pyle (3-39).

Pyle’s leg spinners also removed Tom Wolfe and Digby Nuthall to leave the score at 3-72, but captain Hastie added a vital 37 to steer the Lions towards three figures.

Hastie was bowled by seamer Jesse Spaanderman and the loss of Ted Batchelor (1) left the Lions in a precarious position at 5-101.

The Lions slumped to 7-120 but Chapman (11) and Andrew (12 not out) guided their side to victory with 14 overs to spare to also achieve a bonus point.

Earlier in the day, the Lions also struggled with the ball, conceding 42 sundries, but were let off by the Park batsmen, who failed to fire.

Six Park batsmen all reached double figures but none could go on and score beyond 20.

Batchelor removed danger man Nathan Dovey (15) and fellow opener Matt Heberle (8) before the run out of Pyle for 1 left Park 6-93.

Useful contributions from Andrew Larkins (15) and Nathan Komene (15) lifted Park to 143 but were bowled out in the 37th over.

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