En-titled to celebrate!

Hatfield 6 Royston 27 A DOMINANT performance at Hatfield saw Royston clinch the Herts Middlesex Three North League title on Saturday. With Wasps failing to score enough points away to Pinner & Gramarians, it was a great day for Billy Payne, playing his la

Hatfield 6 Royston 27

A DOMINANT performance at Hatfield saw Royston clinch the Herts Middlesex Three North League title on Saturday.

With Wasps failing to score enough points away to Pinner & Gramarians, it was a great day for Billy Payne, playing his last competitive match for Royston after years of service.

The pressure looked to be telling on a depleted Royston team, and a less than impressive first half saw the teams go into half-time with two penalties each between them - Hatfield's kicker knocking two over from inside his own half.


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The break seemed to favour Royston, and some good scrumaging by Shakleton saw his opposite number replaced twice.

Richard Leighton was finding his form, and within minutes winger Michael Schurch went under the posts from some quick hands by the Royston back line. Schurch duly converted.

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With a slight lead, Royston began to believe in themselves and grew in confidence.

Full back Dave Ratcliffe started to break the tackles and only some basic errors stopped Royston pushing further ahead.

Any attacking opportunities that Hatfield did have only saw them kick deep into Royston's half, and they never looked like running through the visitors' defence.

Royston's scrummaging saw them take a few against the head, and they always looked comfortable on their own feed, with Billy Payne again causing the problems.

The forwards started to dominate, and Gary Ryall pushed his way over the line for a well- deserved try.

Tempers started to flare, but the referee took good control of the game.

Hatfield used all their substitutes to try to turn the match around.

However, Royston continued to pile on the pressure and were awarded two more penalties, which Schurch converted.

With the clock ticking down Royston were awarded another try when Prop Steve Patmore went over, and Schurch converted.

Billy Payne, Will Phillips, and the returning Richard Leighton were the pick of the bunch, with Schurch taking 17 points.

But at the final whistle Royston left the field slightly disappointed as they felt they had not done enough to take the title.

Everything depended on the Wasps v's Pinner game.

A call from the fixtures secretary confirmed that Royston had taken the title on points difference, and the celebrations began.

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