Royston end relegation fear
PUBLISHED: 16:45 12 March 2008 | UPDATED: 15:41 11 May 2010
Watford 21 Royston 29 WITH relegation looming, Royston confirmed their place in the Herts and Middlesex Division 2 North with a crucial win at rivals Watford. The victory condemned the hosts to relegation and with Old Tottonians also losing, Kevin Green
Watford 21 Royston 29
WITH relegation looming, Royston confirmed their place in the Herts and Middlesex Division 2 North with a crucial win at rivals Watford.
The victory condemned the hosts to relegation and with Old Tottonians also losing, Kevin Green's side are safe for another season.
He said: "This was a great win for us, and very much deserved. We've beaten both of the teams below us home and away which has been vitally important.
"As a result we fully deserve to stay in this league and we will be looking to push on for promotion next season."
It has been a mixed campaign for The Crows, who have impressed after last season's promotion, but have also struggled to find their consistency and momentum to see games through.
However, they turned on the style on Saturday in what was a must win match, bolstered by several veterans, including Colin Letch and former first-team captain Kirk Woodford.
Royston kept their heads as their opponents lost theirs, with two of the Watford players seeing red as the game became ill tempered.
And it was a remarkable comeback from Royston who were trailing 18-0 at half time, with a number of missed tackles resulting in easy tries for the home side.
But man-of-the-match Chris Wallis bagged his first of two tries within 10 minutes of the restart, when he pounced on a loose ball five metres out.
Then winger Steve Bass went over, and with skipper Letch slotting over the conversion The Crows were back in the game at 18-12.
Watford responded with a well-taken penalty, but Wallis increased the pressure with his second try of the game with a brilliant run from the half way line following some clever play from Letch, who also dispatched the conversion.
As the hosts' heads dropped Royston upped the tempo and as a result Watford gave away a number of penalties. One of which resulted with hooker Jason Shackleton's quick tap and run being illegally impeded by a home forward, with the referee having no hesitation in awarding a penalty try with Letch again doing the business in front of the posts to give The Crows a deserved lead.
With seconds left Royston were awarded another penalty deep in the Watford half and again Letch was on hand to slot the ball home to take the score to an impressive 21-29.
Green said: "This was certainly a hard fought game that showed that Royston have the character as well as the skill to play at this level. The win consolidates our position and ensures that we will be playing in the division again next season, which has always been our main objective.