Home defeat for Royston
Royston 10 Old Isleworthians 22 ROYSTON had high hopes of continuing their winning run with only a few absentees and an opposition whose only wins in the league so far had been against the two bottom clubs. Yet even though they had home advantage with the
Royston 10 Old Isleworthians 22
ROYSTON had high hopes of continuing their winning run with only a few absentees and an opposition whose only wins in the league so far had been against the two bottom clubs.
Yet even though they had home advantage with their opponents having to travel up from near Twickenham, they elected to play up the hill against the stiff breeze in the first half and spent long periods defending in their own half.
Isleworthians, for all their possession, never looked like threatening the Royston line and in the first quarter the only score was a long range penalty to the visitors.
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Royston then stepped up a gear with captain Shaun McDermott having a lot of influence at the back of the scrum, half-backs Paul Edwards and Jason Deards probing the gaps behind the defence and full back Rob Turner running back any loose defensive kicks.
Isleworthians were panicked into giving away a succession of penalties and with Royston ruling the line out Deards was confidently able to make ground up the touchline.
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From a five-yard throw-in the ball was caught and the pack drove easily over the line for flanker Will Phillips to score the touchdown, a try which Deards converted.
Unfortunately, Royston switched off and their visitors used the wind to power back down the hill and score their own try from a driving maul, with an easy conversion to leave them leading 10-7 at half time.
Royston were confident of reversing the lead with the elements including a dazzling sun now in their favour, but the unfortunate loss of McDermott to a hamstring injury just before the break had left them without their talismanic leader and any sense of direction.
Isleworthians now played the better defensive game and frequently threatened the Royston line while the home team struggled to make best use of the wind.
Quick turnover ball in the middle of the pitch gave the visitors' speedy full back the opportunity to run through the disorganised home defence to score under the posts with the conversion stretching the lead to 10 points.
Deards managed to reduce the deficit to seven with a penalty with 10 minutes to go, but his side were now playing without any structure flinging the ball around in the vain hope of breaking Isleworthians' solid defence.
One desperate passage of play led to a lobbed pass being easily intercepted by the Isleworthians full back who comfortably beat the cover defence to the corner to put the game to bed.
The final five minutes followed the same pattern with the visitors running out winners by 12 points.