Plate dreams smashed

Norwich Vets 4 Royston Vets 3 ROYSTON S hopes of England Hockey Veterans Plate glory came to an end in a seven goal thriller at Norwich. The visitors started slowly against an organised home side and fell behind to a well-worked short corner in the

Norwich Vets 4 Royston Vets 3

ROYSTON'S hopes of England Hockey Veterans Plate glory came to an end in a seven goal thriller at Norwich.

The visitors started slowly against an organised home side and fell behind to a well-worked short corner in the first quarter of the game.

The home side continued to press the Royston defence but were unable to create any clear chances in open play against a strong Royston defence. However their pressure was rewarded when Norwich extended their advantage by converting a second short corner before the break.

Royston regrouped at half-time and started the second half positively, putting the home midfield under early pressure; this resulted in the visitors being able to enjoy more possession.

However Norwich were able to further extend their lead with a well-worked breakaway goal.

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This goal, however, seemed to inspire the Royston side and they started to dominate the game.

This attacking enterprise was rewarded when Simon Hughes converted a penalty stroke 15 minutes into the second half.

Clive Biddlecombe added a second a minute later following a fluent interchange of passes from defence to attack.

Royston then completed a remarkable comeback when Simon Hughes converted a second penalty stroke in the 52nd minute following another impressive move.

The hosts however managed to weather the storm with some strong defending, and with only five minutes remaining a rare attack by the Norwich side resulted in Royston committing a technical foul inside the penalty area follow.

The hosts gratefully accepted the opportunity to secure the tie with a well taken stroke.

Letchworth II 1 Royston 2

GOALS from Dan Smith and Owen Russell were enough to seal the points in a hard fought victory over local rivals Letchworth.

The match began at a fast pace with the home side taking control early on, and looking dangerous down their right flank.

Royston managed to hold their nerve and slowly got into the game creating a couple of half chances to take the lead.

With little to choose between the sides the match became an end to end battle, with neither team managing to break the deadlock.

At half-time Royston changed their formation and it was them who struck first, with a tidy finish from Smith.

Letchworth kept pushing, and their efforts were rewarded when Duncan Warner's error gifted them a goal.

Despite the setback a determined Royston began to look for the winner, which came from Russell's strike 10 minuets from time.

Royston II 2 Bedford Town IV 4

MICHAEL Hill's early goal was not enough to help Royston to victory.

Royston started brightly and took an early lead through a Hill goal, but as the home side pressed forward Bedford scored an equaliser with a well taken goal midway through the first half.

This seemed to encourage the visitors and they increased the tempo and started to dictate the pace of play.

The visitors took the lead with a second well-taken goal and moved further ahead by converting a short corner before the break.

Royston commenced the second half with renewed vigour and started to put the Bedford defence under pressure, but it was Bedford who scored and increased their lead with another clinical finish.

Despite this setback Royston continued to push forward and their continued effort was rewarded when Kevin Binks scored a second goal for the home side.

Although Royston continued to enjoy a high percentage of possession they were unable to convert this into goals and Bedford ran out comfortable winners of this competitive game.

Hertford V 4 Royston V 2

TWO late goals cost Royston as they recommenced their league programme on Saturday.

The first half was the better part of the match for Royston with the opening goal coming from the young John Gourd.

Hertford levelled through a defensive error from Royston but this seemed to push Royston harder and they were eventually rewarded with fine goal from Steve Gourd just before half time.

In the second half Hertford became a stronger team and were able to equalise again. It looked for some time that Royston would at least come away with a point but with just a few minutes remaining, they let the match slip with Hertford scoring two more late goals.