First team earn hard-fought draw

Royston Hockey Club round-up

ROYSTON I came away with a point from there rearranged fixture at home to Rickmansworth following a 4-4 draw.

The hosts had barely brushed the dust from their boots before they found themselves two goals behind. Some gutsy play saw Royston fight back, as goals by Graham Mack and Andy Drage forced the teams level once again.

The second period saw the home side continue to press Rickmansworth back, with there dominance eventually telling when Sam Polge put Royston ahead. Although the visitors looked threatening going forward it was Royston who created the greater scoring opportunities, and soon extended the lead with a second from Drage.

Not for the first time this season, though, Royston’s lack of substitutes began to tell, as tired legs led to tired and sloppy passing. Rickmansworth took swift advantage of the home side’s inability to hold possession and dominated the last 10 minuets. A couple of late goals saw the honors shared in what was a fair outcome.

The Men’s III had two games at the weekend starting with a 3-2 defeat away to Letchworth Vs on Saturday.

Despite an excellent start in which captain Keith Markham converted Dan Smith’s pass to give his side the lead, Royston found themselves 2-1 down as the interval approached. Sharp thinking by Steven Priest in taking a quick free-hit to catch a defender napping and earn a penalty corner eventually resulted in a penalty stroke when Markham’s goal bound shot was blocked by a foot. Steve Welding took responsibility and beat the ‘keeper for power.

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However, Letchworth went back in front early in the second-half while Markham came close to equalising with an angled shot that flashed just wide, but the Crows were unable to pull themselves level.

On Sunday lunchtime Stevenage IV were the visitors to Bassingbourn Barracks who proved too strong and earned a 2-0 win with a goal in each half.

The Men’s IV (youth side) went down 5-0 at home to St Albans Citizens despite putting in a decent performance.

Man of the match, John Gourd, had an outstanding second half to keep Royston in touch until the last few minutes. Wes Trotti had a shot scrambled from the line which would have seen Royston take the lead. Unfortunately, other chances were rare and St Albans were clinical with the few chances they were afforded.

Royston Ladies I made a great start to the New Year with a 5-2 victory over rivals Letchworth.

Although Royston came under some early pressure good defensive work and some great saves from Player of the Match Mel Harding denied the opposition taking an early lead.

Royston were the first to break the deadlock with Chrisy Fayers outwitting the Letchworth defence. Royston’s good form continued and it wasn’t long before Sophie Gathercole converted Royston’s second. Despite Letchworth scoring on the break, Kirsty McKenzie’s well-worked short corner gave Royston a two-goal lead at the break.

In the second half Royston continued to pile on the pressure and two more goals from Wendy Holt gave Royston a convincing win.

The Ladies II earned a point against Broxbourne III after a terrific second half display.

The first half saw Broxbourne dictate the play and their pressure was rewarded with a goal midway through. A great half time team talk and an inspired change in formation resulted in a much changed second half. Royston attacked in numbers with Player of the Match Lucy Richardson converting after being setup by Lucy Davidson putting the home side level.

A short corner saw them take the lead via Sarah Farmer before the lead was extended by Jennifer Biddlecombe. Unfortunately, legs got tired and despite a series of fine saves by Eloise Linnett, Broxbourne got one back with five minutes to go before a short corner at the death for the away side was also put away.