It's all square as youngsters battle
PUBLISHED: 14:40 08 November 2007 | UPDATED: 15:19 12 May 2010
Welwyn Under-17 5 Royston 5 ROYSTON had to settle for a share of the points on Sunday against a well-organised and committed Welwyn side. And things did not start well for the young Crows when the Welwyn scrum-half robbed Patrick McGarry at the back of t
Welwyn Under-17 5
ROYSTON had to settle for a share of the points on Sunday against a well-organised and committed Welwyn side.
And things did not start well for the young Crows when the Welwyn scrum-half robbed Patrick McGarry at the back of the scrum and darted forward, with their centre taking the ball and diving over for a try.
After a missed conversion the visitors were given another warning when the Welwyn forwards started to dominate the set scrums, with the Royston front row of Joe Cullen, Eddy Hall, and Shawn Jackson having to be at the top of their game.
Welwyn also had an efficient rolling maul, but the Crows soon proved adept at stopping the drive and stealing the ball, with flankers James Watson and man-of-the-match George Elbourn standing out.
While the hosts had had the territorial advantage and bulk of the possession in the first half, Royston held the upper hand after the break.
And after making several changes in the forwards with Dwayne Wilkins, Jonathan Davies, Alex Lanham and Josh Langley coming on, they started to dominate the scrum, and improved the lineout, with Elbourn's dynamism turning over much of Welwyn's possession.
Their dominance was finally rewarded when the Royston backs moved the ball swiftly to Goldfinch who lost his marker to score in the left corner.
After Oakman narrowly missed the conversion, McGarry began to mix up the attack, sensing a win was well within his team's grasp.
And with Andy Smith and the back row chasing everything, Royston made plenty of ground.
However, the Welwyn defence held out and cleared their lines.
With five minutes remaining Goldfinch looked like he would seal a Royston win when he rounded his man and streaked for the corner - however, a desperate tackle from the Welwyn outside centre just pushed him into touch.
With that, the game was almost up and both sides settled for a hard-fought draw.
- THE Royston under-11 squad impressed with two comfortable wins at the weekend.
Debutants Oliver Fraser, Aaron Simms and Oliver Shepherd were in the thick of things early on with a number of great tackles and driving at the scrum.
Royston's backs soon had Haverhill on the back foot, with Robbie Murdoch going close early on.
But it was new boy Simms who made the difference, picking the ball up and with sheer determination, drove over for a brilliant first try.
And when Murdoch coolly slotted home the conversion Royston finished the game deserved 7-0 winners.
The under-11s then turned on the style against a mixed Haverhill and Witham side that had no reply for Royston's power and speed.
Oliver Bass opened the scoring early on with a defence splitting run from inside his own half, before Murdoch kicked another clever conversion.
Sam Segameglio then steamed through for another try, with Freddie Finlayson doing the honours with the resulting kick.
However, complacency allowed Haverhill back in the game, but Murdoch restored Royston's comfortable lead with an effortless try that sent his side into the interval 21-12 in front.
After the re-start Murdoch soon grabbed a second try as man-of-the-match Oliver Fraser kept the Haverhill attack at bay.
At the other end Segameglio then dived over for his second of the day, before he capped an impressive performance with another well-taken try.
Finlayson converted the resulting kick, with Royston running out 42-12 winners.