Datchworth left flattered by score as Royston push promotion chasers all the way
- Credit: Archant
A hat-trick for John Simons was enough to bring a ninth-straight win for Datchworth in London Three North West – but they were made to work for every inch of the 44-29 success by a dogged Royston side.
In fact the final score was slightly harsh on the north Hertfordshire club and had it not been for solid organisation from the Men in Green, this boisterous Royston side could well have ruined any promotion dreams for the villagers.
As it is Datch are now five points clear of Stevenage Town in second place while Royston are four points clear of relegation rivals Kilburn Cosmos who they play next at home on March 2.
The home side started better and were in front after five minutes, Stu Young making the break and putting second row Simons into space for the first of his treble.
But thanks to a few penalties, Datchworth were soon defending a line-out on their own 22 and with plenty of pace and a deft chip, Will Dacey both scored and then converted to give Royston the lead.
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Back came the hosts though as two tries restored their advantage.
Liam Walker got the first, crashing through from short range, and Stu Young the second from a pushover scrum.
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However, yet again Royston fought back as they snaffled two almost-identical tries in five minutes to lead 19-15, Will Cottrell and Dan Ritsema making use of good support and offloads.
The introduction of Sam McBroom settled Datchworth down slightly and the lead would soon change hands again with James Watt scoring in the corner.
But it was Royston who trooped off after a breathless half with the lead, a well-struck penalty from Dacey making it 22-20.
A different Datchworth came out after the break and a Tom Bennett run got them into a nice position and a sharp lineout saw Simons crash over for his second.
Sam Brunton added the conversion and Tom Wood stretched that lead even further with a dart over the line.
But with 15 minutes to go Royston’s bonus-point score from Euan Rees closed the gap to just three points at 32-29 and gave them a sniff of victory.
However, Datchworth remained composed and tries from Watt and Simons in the final minutes gave them the win with a flattering result.