Skip wants royal backlash

hsb  Matt Coad batting for Studley Royal against Beverley Town.  (130511M3b)
hsb Matt Coad batting for Studley Royal against Beverley Town. (130511M3b)

Studley Royal captain Matt Pickles urged his side to get their winning formula back after double agony at the weekend

The Royals’ Premier League title ambitions took a hit on Saturday as top of the table rivals Woodhouse Grange overturned them by seven wickets.

Pickles’ side then dropped out of the National Village Cup as they failed to chase down a 153 target at Sheriff Hutton Bridge in the regional final.

With his steam travelling to midtable Acomb next week, Pickles wants a return to the form that led them to the top in the early weeks of the season.

“We have to try and string some wins together,” he said.

“We started really well and whilst we have had a bad couple of weeks, it’s only a couple of weeks.

“We have been playing well. There’s no need to get too disconsolate.”

Royal’s batsmen failed to take aim at Grange as Gary Blackburn (78) and Dan Craven (37) were the only ones to score double figures.

The pair then were the only bowlers to strike Chris Bilton’s 69 not out eased Grange to the modest total.

“They thoroughly outplayed us,” said Pickles.

“It was a mediocre total which we were always going to struggle to defend.

“Gary Blackburn was outstanding. He’s in really good nick at the moment. The rest didn’t support him.

“When it is someone in isolation you are always going to struggle to post a total.”

The defeat meant Grange pulled 38 points clear of The Royals at the top of York Senior League Premier League.

The Royal’s bowling attack improved on the used wicket at Bridge as Pickles’ spin options enjoyed the conditions.

Steve Walmsley took 4-31 and Blackburn 3-29 to bowl Bridge out for 152. But, again, the batsman struggled and, despite Anthony Mackle’s 35 and Pickles’ defiant 26, they finished four runs short.

“It really was a game we should won but we bottled it,” added Pickles.

“I didn’t think 152 was enough on that pitch but we batted really poorly again and lost key wickets at key times.

“We have to take responsibility a bit more when we are in and get the score that is going to win us the game.

“If you are losing wickets your run rate drops.

“It was a really disappointing weekend. Three defeats on the bounce is not what we were looking for.”