'A great way to finish' as cup success adds to promotion
PUBLISHED: 13:32 30 April 2018 | UPDATED: 15:56 30 April 2018
A triumphant Hannah Gallagher has hailed Royston's victory in the Herts Presidents' Trophy calling it "a lovely way to finish off".
The Saracens and England flanker has been coaching the Heath-based rugby club since the start of the season and under her stewardship, they clinched promotion from Herts Middlesex Division One a few weeks earlier.
And they added silverware to that achievement with a 28-12 win over Barnet Elizabethans at Saracens’ home, Allianz Park.
A beaming Gallagher could not hide her delight at the way the club had finished the season.
She said: “It was a great game and a great way to finish the season after winning promotion.
“It gives us a strong position to take into next season when there’s a lot to build on but also a lot to look forward to.
“Barnet are a very strong team so it’s great preparation for next year and a lovely way to finish off.
“Hopefully we can carry that winning feeling into next season.”
The flanker, who has been battling her way back from serious injury alongside coaching the Crows, praised her team for the work they have put in over the last year.
“The aim was always to get promoted and that was always going to be a difficult job in a very competitive league,” she said.
“But the guys have really stuck in and grafted to make that happen.
“There’s so much to work on but it is really positive that we didn’t play at our best today, we were very good, but there are so many things to work on and it’s really exciting that this team has so much further to go.
“There were a few chances that went begging but our defence has been brilliant all season and in attack we’ve got some great runners.”
They got off to a bad start when Sean Blake gave Barnet a sixth-minute lead in the corner.
But if the 11am start had left some still in bed, that score woke them from their slumbers and they proceeded to dominate matters for the rest of the game.
Ben Ritsema got them on level terms, taking advantage of a wicked bounce from a cross-field kick that completely outfoxed the Barnet defence, before brother Dan scorched over in the corner to put them ahead.
Will Dacey, kicked two penalties either side of converting the try of a game from Joe Butcher, who sped over a throwing a delicious dummy.
Dacey added a try of his own before Aston Stephenson scored a late consolation for Barnet.
It didn’t make a difference though and the Royston celebrations would have been loud and long.