Horse tamed by rampant Crows

PUBLISHED: 11:16 09 November 2006 | UPDATED: 14:52 12 May 2010

Royston II 28 Black Horse 10 ROYSTON II took centre stage at The Heath last weekend, hosting Black Horse in a Greene King Deuxieme Central league match. The hosts got off to a dreadful start with prop Rab Bissett forced from the field in the first 10 m

Royston II 28 Black Horse 10

ROYSTON II took centre stage at The Heath last weekend, hosting Black Horse in a Greene King Deuxieme Central league match.

The hosts got off to a dreadful start with prop Rab Bissett forced from the field in the first 10 minutes with a rib injury, replaced by Kirk Woodford.

Black Horse took advantage of Royston's changed pack and opened the scoring from a quickly taken tap penalty, passed to their on-rushing prop who crashed over the line to score a converted try.

Royston hit back with a great break by fly half Will Cotterill, but the support failed to reach him and possession was lost.

The Hertford side started to feel the Royston pressure, resulting in successive penalties for the hosts that were marched up the field for dissent by the Black Horse forwards.

The Crows grasped their opportunity with both hands; with forwards and backs combining in a free-flowing move that released centre Rob Spragg, who barged his way over in the corner, unconverted.

Black Horse got themselves back into the game and started to dominate. However, Royston's defence held firm and the visitors could only add a penalty to extend their lead to 10-5 at half-time.

Royston came out strong at the start of the second half and were soon on levels terms. A break from centre Ronnie Barker split the Black Horse line, the ball was quickly recycled to prop Jamie Green in space and he used the overlap to put man of the match Steve Mills over in the corner, unconverted.

The Crows had their heads up now and managed to get their noses in front for the first time in the match when Mills pounced onto a loose ball and sprinted for the line, passing to Colin Dacey five yards out to score under the posts and give Royston the lead 15-10.

Dacey extended the home side's advantage by adding two penalties to increase the gap to 21-10.

With time running out, tempers on both sides started to fray and Royston's hooker Mills was shown a yellow card for an off the ball incident.

Despite being a man down Royston were still playing the better rugby and had a final flourish for the supporters.

Full-back Ali Merridew fielded a Black Horse clearance to halfway and began the counter attack, which saw the ball pass through at least five pairs of Royston hands ending up at Gary Ryalle who was stopped just short of the line.

With the visitors defence breached, replacement Woodford picked the ball up from the back of a ruck and crashed over the line, converted by Cotterill, to give the Crows a 28-10 victory.

- On Saturday Royston's II travel to play Sawston II in the league, whilst Royston's first team host Borehamwood in a top of the table clash in Herts and Middlesex Three North at The Heath.

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