Off the cuff! Heath men hold out for victory

PUBLISHED: 12:36 05 October 2006 | UPDATED: 14:50 12 May 2010

Cuffley 12 Royston 17 ROYSTON continued their good start to the season with a five-point victory at Cuffley. Jack Hillman captained the side for the first time in the absence of Steve Clay, who had not recovered from an injury sustained last week. Cuffl

Cuffley 12 Royston 17

ROYSTON continued their good start to the season with a five-point victory at Cuffley.

Jack Hillman captained the side for the first time in the absence of Steve Clay, who had not recovered from an injury sustained last week.

Cuffley were quickest out of the blocks, but Royston's defence prevented a three-to-one overlap from yielding any points for the home side, and cleared from a penalty.

More indiscipline by the Cuffley forwards gave Michael Schurch an opportunity to put the first points on the board, giving Royston a 3-0 lead.

From the restart Cuffley tried to get their backs involved in the game, but a fingertip interception by centre Dave Marvell spoiled the move and saw Royston break clear.

Marvell found Schurch in space, and the winger skinned his opposite number to score a try near the posts, and he converted.

A missed tackle in midfield allowed the Cuffley number 12 to breach the Royston line and chip over the top, only to be cynically pulled down off the ball.

The referee gave the penalty which was taken quickly but came to nothing, with Royston able to clear to half-way.

Cuffley began to dominate proceedings, encamped in the Royston half. This domination was eventually rewarded when their number nine scampered over from the base of a scrum for a converted try.

The visitors hit back immediately. A good take at the line was shipped down the line to Schurch, only for him to run out of room and get bundled into touch.

Royston stole the line, and with lightning quick hands released left wing Steve Bass, who bulldozed his way through in the corner, the try converted by Schurch, to restore the 10 point gap at the break.

The home side started the second half strongly, but repeated drives from their pack were repelled, with everyone in the Royston side putting their bodies on the line for the team.

Eventually the pressure was to take its toll, with a clever cross-field kick from a penalty catching the Crows' defence off guard.

The Cuffley winger grabbed his opportunity to score unconverted in the corner. The home side continued their dominance and thought they had scored again, only for the eagle-eyed referee to call play back for a forward pass.

As the rain began to pour, the spark had well and truly gone from Royston's attacking play, as Cuffley's pack began to turn the screw.

More frustration from Cuffley gave Royston another penalty near half-way, which was taken quickly by Scott Easy, who fed Rob Turner, releasing him to jink his way through the tiring Cuffley defence, only to be hauled down 10 metres from the line.

With the game nearing a close and the rain not relenting, Royston dug deep and all the hard work from the training ground paid off.

Clearing their lines and securing opposition ball, Royston drove Cuffley back into their own half.

With time running out Cuffley threw everything they had at Royston but to no avail.

- Royston travel to Old Cooperians on Saturday in the first round proper of the Junior Vase.


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