Hacked off! It’s Barabi the hero
Royston 37 Hackney 13 ROYSTON kept up their push for the Herts/Middlesex League Division Three title with a comfortable win against Hackney on Saturday, lifted by a superb display by Elia Barabi. The hosts expansive style of play was hampered by some con
Royston 37 Hackney 13
ROYSTON kept up their push for the Herts/Middlesex League Division Three title with a comfortable win against Hackney on Saturday, lifted by a superb display by Elia Barabi.
The hosts' expansive style of play was hampered by some controversial refereeing decisions with a record amount of penalties being awarded against them.
This also saw two players, Billy Payne and Ian Bibey, spending 10 minutes in the sin bin, the first time both have done so this season.
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Royston, got off to a good start with the power of Barabi making inroads into the Hackney line, only to be pulled back for a forward pass to winger Steve Bass, and what must be the tackle of the season, putting the Hackney full-back out of the game with a crushing but legitimate tackle that lifted the Royston side.
Royston were pinned back in their own half for the next 20 minutes by some good work by the Hackney pack.
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But they took a narrow lead with tries from Steve Bass and Michael Schurch, both -converted.
Hackney replied with a converted try, and Royston went into half-time frustrated with only a 14-7 lead.
After the break, with some good handling, it seemed Royston were starting to show their quality, but with a repeat of the first half were continually pulled back for infringements which saw two more players sent to the bin in quick succession.
Two scores by man-of-the-match Barabi, quickly followed by another from Bass, saw Royston finally pull away.
However, the best was yet to come. With a few minutes remaining, and Royston putting pressure on Hackney's line the ball came lose and was kicked 30 yards upfield.
Aaron Davies, substituting for skipper Steve Clay scooped up the ball, and with the poise of Jonny Wilkinson, slotted home a drop goal.
Royston have a friendly away to Hitchin before their next league game against Borehamwood on the March 3, and a Herts President's Trophy quarter final against Chess Valley on March 11.
Royston: Patmore, Payne, Barabi, Fidler, Easy, Ryall, Bibey, Green, Phillips, Newson, Turner, Marvel, Fox, Clay, Bass, Schurch, Davies, Ball.