Crows’ Twickenham dream ended by home cup defeat to powerful Old Whitgiftians

Lee Gilbert in action for Royston. Pictures: Karyn Haddon

Lee Gilbert in action for Royston. Pictures: Karyn Haddon - Credit: Archant

Royston’s hopes of a date at Twickenham in a few weeks ended with a home defeat to Croydon side Old Whitgiftians.

The two sides met on Saturday as Royston hosted the Junior Vase London and South East Cup final at the Heath, but although they had good support following a well-attended supporters’ lunch before the game they fell to a 34-10 defeat.

As the teams lined up to face each other, the weather took a turn for the worse as players and supporters alike were soaked through following the opening of the heavens.

Yet both sides began the game aggressively, working hard to push the ball out wide.

Royston battered the Old Whitgiftians line without managing to cross the whitewash.

When the opportunity came for a counter-attack, the visitors pushed deep into Royston territory earning themselves a penalty within kicking distance.

And two more penalties conceded by the home side saw the visitors take a nine-point lead, with cracks beginning to show in the Royston defence.

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The hosts’ woes continued as the visitors scored their first try of the game to extend their lead. Two more tries then followed in quick succession, one on the wing and another through the middle of Royston’s defence.

Royston were further hampered by picking up two yellow cards and the end of the first half saw Old Whitgiftians with a healthy 29 point lead.

The away side continued to attack following the kick-off, and once again they scored to increase their lead.

This seemed to drag Royston out of their daze and the home side went on the attack, with their first try coming after repeated attempts to drive forward opened up space for John Brain to roll across the line.

Royston continued their attack to put a huge amount of pressure onto the opposition defence, grinding them down and putting Theo Pow over the line for another score.

The hosts didn’t give up, but in the end their efforts were in vain and at the final whistle it was Old Whitgiftians who went through with a 34-10 victory.