Flash Gordon puts the boot into Hitchin
PUBLISHED: 10:38 19 January 2006 | UPDATED: 17:11 11 May 2010
Royston II 22pts Hitchin III 20pts ROYSTON snatched victory from the jaws of defeat with a Steff Gordon penalty five minutes from the end of this Deuxieme League Cup game. It had seemed a breeze in the first 20 minutes as Jamie Johnson celebrated 40 year
Royston II 22pts Hitchin III 20pts ROYSTON snatched victory from the jaws of defeat with a Steff Gordon penalty five minutes from the end of this Deuxieme League Cup game. It had seemed a breeze in the first 20 minutes as Jamie Johnson celebrated 40 years of rugby with an early try and then set up Rob Spragg for a second five minutes later. If the referee had not disallowed Mark Palmer's effort Royston would have been 19-0 up and cruising. However, Hitchin came back strongly and carved several openings before their right wing crashed over in the corner. A 12-5 lead was unlikely to be enough as Royston turned round to face the strengthening wind. Hitchin gradually wound up the pressure forcing an early penalty to reduce the deficit to four points and then taking the lead with a converted try half way through the second period. Hitchin seemed to have sealed victory with a solo try from their stand off who broke from half-way, rounded the covering defence and then arrogantly decided to ground the ball in the corner instead of trying to make his own conversion attempt easier. He missed. From somewhere, the Royston forwards suddenly found a second wind and with Tony Richardson pilfering their line-out ball and rampaging up the touch line Royston started to play with more confidence. Another Richardson burst supported by the other forwards resulted in Will Phillips cantering over from 25m to score close enough to the posts for Steff Gordon to convert and reduce the deficit to a single point. When the penalty was awarded just outside the Hitchin 22 Royston were slightly surprised to find that they were only trailing by one point and Gordon calmly stepped up to stroke the ball over and give Royston the lead. There was still time for Hitchin to mount a sustained attack, thwarted by a magnificent try-saving tackle from Tony Payne and desperate defence from the forwards.