Four tries put Ely under the cosh

PUBLISHED: 16:26 15 November 2007 | UPDATED: 15:19 12 May 2010

Royston Under-17 23 Ely 5 ROYSTON dominated this encounter from the off, with a strong Ely side having little reply to the hosts four tries. Starting the game with the downhill advantage, the Crows pressured the Ely defence early on, with the visitors c

Royston Under-17 23 Ely 5

ROYSTON dominated this encounter from the off, with a strong Ely side having little reply to the hosts' four tries.

Starting the game with the downhill advantage, the Crows pressured the Ely defence early on, with the visitors conceding a penalty 20 yards from their line.

With a tap pass to Joe Hillman, Royston quickly punished their opponents as he sidestepped outside and ran through to touch down for the home side's first try.

The following 20 minutes of play were fairly balanced with both teams winning most of their set pieces.

Royston captain Joe Cullen was proving to be particularly ­threatening with his accurate throw-ins which found second row jumper Alex Lanham catching with ease and mounting a number of attacks.

But after a passage of broken play in the Royston half, Ely's fly-half picked up the ball, and cut through some lazy Royston tackling with a jinking run.

And with only five metres to the Royston line he sold a dummy to level the score.

Shortly after, Royston secured the ball from a scrum just inside their own half, and moved it quickly down the line to outside centre Adam Smith.

Smith spotted a gap, and with a curving run cut behind their defence to cover 30 yards before drawing their full back to off-load to Stuart Goldfinch, who scored Royston's second try to take make it 10-5.

Within 10 minutes, further pressure from the Crows' forwards resulted in Scott Bates picking up the ball in loose play to run in Royston's third try.

But Royston lost scrum-half Patrick McGarry when he was ­carried off with a dislocated knee and taken to Addenbrooke's.

In the second half Ely came out stronger, and seemed determined to narrow the score. A passage of 20 minutes saw them putting Royston under a lot more pressure, with the visitors' backs breaking forward at every opportunity.

However, thanks to some courageous Royston defending, and some good tactical kicking from man-of-the-match Adam Oakman, Ely were gradually pinned back.

Royston had time to grab one more try, when a blindside move following a set-piece saw Goldfinch pick up the ball and run round the Ely defence to score his second try of the game, and following a well-taken conversion Royston finished deserved winners.

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