CAPTAIN Joe Lovell was upbeat after Royton missed out on silverware as they lost to Denton St Lawrence in the final of the Greater Manchester Cricket League’s Derek Kay Cup.
Lovell took positives from the five-wicket loss as Royton, bottom of the Premier Division, asked questions of the runaway.
“I told the players at the end of the game to walk off the pitch with heads held high as it was one of our best performances of the season. We gave it the best we could,” he said.
Royton, who also lost in the same final 12 months ago to Greenmount, went into the game at Roe Green with a depleted side because of holidays and players ruled out through other commitments.
Lovell won the toss and elected to bat – he had been keen to do that.
There was disappointment as Royton were bowled out for 104 with 9.4 of their 45 overs remaining, professional Chirag Khurana top scoring with 33.
“We didn’t get a big enough score and lacked discipline to stick it out for the full innings,” he explained.
If Denton SL thought it would be a cakewalk they were wrong as they were reduced to 12 for two and 57 for four before triumphing.
“They had five wickets down and took 30 overs to reach their target and made a game of it.”
Khurana also had the distinction of being the leading run-maker in the Derek Kay Cup making 409 runs in four innings.
Royton, who have won only two league games all season, registered three victories beating Moorside, Denton CC and Woodhouses en-route to the final.
The second of the league wins came the day before the final when they beat Woodhouses by 10 runs.
Royton were dismissed for 119, Khurana top scoring with 47, before bowling out Woodhouses for 109, Khurana and Renaldo Holder both claiming four wickets.
Though Royton look certain to be relegated, Lovell believes the club is heading in the right direction.
He is enjoying the challenge of captaincy after unexpectedly being asked to take the helm mid-season following James Maurice-Scott quitting the club.