It's comeback king Ian - at 58
Biggleswade III 5pts Royston II 43pts ROYSTON, with 58-year-old second row Ian Clayton back in the side, finished their Deuxieme League season at a gallop after their disappointing exit in the cup last weekend. Clayton, who has been training all season, s
Biggleswade III 5pts Royston II 43pts ROYSTON, with 58-year-old second row Ian Clayton back in the side, finished their Deuxieme League season at a gallop after their disappointing exit in the cup last weekend. Clayton, who has been training all season, showed his class and experience, and had a try disallowed within minutes of coming on to the field. The game was very much a tale of contrasting halves. Royston chose to battle the elements in the first half, and with it came a big Biggleswade pack. The visitors, with an unsettled front row, found themselves very much on the back foot, and Biggleswade's try came from a rolling maul. The conversion was unsuccessful. Royston replied. Mixing forwards and backs saw the team encamp on the Biggleswade line. The equaliser eventually came as the forwards drove with a series of rucks and mauls, and young Will Phillips, who has had a fine season, converting from colts rugby to the seniors, scored with a lunge over the line. Colin Dacey, kicking into the wind, converted for the two extra points to give them a 7-5 half-time lead. The second half could not have been more different. With Dave Howell into the front row as hooker, the pack became more settled, the Royston forwards took the game by the scruff of the neck, and the points started to flow. Tony Richardson was the first to open the try scoring in the second half, and then Roy Phillips joined his son on the score sheet with a neat shimmy to send the Biggleswade players the wrong way. Mark Lisher and Neil Smith scored from open play, and good work in the backs and Colin Dacey squeezed his way in through the narrowest of gaps. The biggest cheer went up for Clayton's try. Good support work and a pass from Phillips gave Clayton the opening, and with a couple of large hand-offs, he was over the line for his first try for at least 12 years. Colin Dacey grabbed a further three conversions to rattle up a final score of 43 points. Royston: D Honey, W Phillips, T Boyce, B Bergen, D McKeon, R Phillips, P Rabbetts, T Richardson, C Dacey, M Lisher, P Boulter, N Smith, S Clay, S Crook, D Marvel. Subs: D Howell, I Clayton, C Murdoch. Hertford U-17 27pts Royston 35pts WITH a firm pitch and spring conditions both sides set about this fixture determined to run the ball at every opportunity. Despite that, good defences and mistakes led to stalemate for 25 minutes with all the play between the 22s. Hertford broke the deadlock with a deserved first try, the home side looking a little sharper in the early exchanges. It took an outstanding solo try from paceman Michael Church, outrunning the entire defence to level the scores. An excellent conversion from Cottrell gave the visitors a 7-5 lead at half-time. The second half was a different story, with 50 points being scored and providing great entertainment for the crowd. Hertford scored first, and followed up with a penalty to give themselves a 15-7 cushion. Another outstanding solo try from Church, again converted, narrowed the scores to 15-14. But now Royston were starting to hit some them the lead. This was extended with an excellent try from Will Cottrell, side-stepping two defenders to cross under the posts. Hertford fought back well and scored two more tries of their own, but never regained the lead, as the visitors put another seven points on the total through a well deserved converted try from captain Mark Prenty. Royston U-15 33pts Luton 35pts A HIGH scoring game on The Heath saw Royston unlucky not to collect a victory. The hosts started in confident style, buoyed by a three-match unbeaten run. Twice in the first 10 minutes Stuart Goldfinch ran from deep to score under the posts, both tries converted by Joe Parrish. Unaccustomed to being ahead so early in the game, Royston took their foot off the gas and allowed the Luton team to build a platform of forward domination, which continued throughout the rest of the half. The Luton side, their confidence shaken by the early setbacks, progressively grew in stature. The pressure told as they broke down some limited tackling to score two tries, both of which were converted. Then the Royston talisman Goldfinch popped up once more to complete his hat-trick, this time before half-time, with another marvellous run from distance, to give them a 21-14 lead at the break. In the second half the heavier Luton pack brought the game to Royston, scoring two more converted tries to take a 28-21 lead. Finally Royston created some sustained pressure for long enough to break down the Luton defences, Joe Parrish handing on to Dwayne Wilkins, for the hooker to score a richly deserved try, as he had harried and chased all game. Crucially this try was unconverted to leave Royston trailing 28-26. Again Luton were allowed to respond all too easily to restore a nine point lead. In the final five minutes, Goldfinch's fourth try set up a grandstand finish, but Royston were not able to retain possession for long enough to cross the line again.