Refereeing decisions have Royston fuming

PUBLISHED: 14:34 24 January 2008 | UPDATED: 15:38 11 May 2010

ROYSTON head coach Kevin Green was frustrated after his side slipped up 22-15 at home to battling Mill Hill. And The Crows must have thought it was a case of déjà vu with Royston going down in similar style in the away fixture just before Christmas. Ear

ROYSTON head coach Kevin Green was frustrated after his side slipped up 22-15 at home to battling Mill Hill.

And The Crows must have thought it was a case of déjà vu with Royston going down in similar style in the away fixture just before Christmas.

Early in the game the visitors opened the scoring with a penalty which was harshly awarded by the referee and a decision that proved to be the start of some controversial rulings.

However, Royston hit back in the 15th minute. Mill Hill went over the top of a ruck after a searing run from number 8 Scott Easy. The referee had no option but to award the penalty, and Deards coolly slotted over to even the score.

However, almost immediately Mill Hill were back in front when they were awarded another penalty following a supposed infringement coming out of the scrum.

And they were given another controversial penalty shortly before half time, with Mill Hill ending the half with a 9-3 lead.

Royston's half time team talk revolved around keeping their composure and discipline, however, they let their frustrations blow up three minutes into the half when Mill Hill were awarded another dubious penalty.

For a while, The Crows lost their concentration and the Mill Hill backs ran in a try that was converted, the visitors extending their led to 19-3.

But Royston pushed forward and after a charging run from prop Steve Patmore and some clever play from Easy, the hosts were awarded a penalty under the Mill Hill posts.

Captain Steve Clay took the penalty early and played in Easy who drove over to score a deserved try.

Then scrum-half Dickie Leighton played in Deards for another try with some great support play coming from winger Steve Bass.

Deards kicked a brilliantly placed conversion from the touchline and Royston were back in contention.

However, Mill Hill were again awarded a penalty, with their fly-half capping a fine kicking display with another well-taken strike.

For the final 10 minutes, Royston camped on their opponent's line and both Bass and man-of-the-match Deards went close to dragging The Crows back into the match.

Green said: "I felt the frustration as much as the players did and I recognised that in difficult wet conditions it appeared for large parts of the game that we were playing against 16 men.

"However, the team must learn from this experience, and in order to become a better side in the future they must overcome such difficulties. It was a disappointing day, but by no means a disaster."

The Crows will have a tough task in bouncing back, when they travel to a strong Cheshunt side on Saturday, a team that beat Royston 26-7 in November.

Green said: "In my opinion Cheshunt are the best team in the league. So for us it is a 'nothing to lose' game.

"I'll have centre Shaun McDermott back from injury, as well as prop Jason Shackleton and they will both add another dimension to the forwards."

Royston: Patmore, Mills, Guttridge, Letch, Fidler, Ryall, Phillips, Easy, Leighton, Deards, Bass, Clay, Fox, Wallis, Marvell. (Sub): Dacey.

n Royston seconds brought some cheer to the clubhouse on Saturday when they returned from a hard-fought 7-0 win against a strong Biggleswade side. The seconds entertain Newmarket on Saturday, kick off 2.15pm at the Heath.

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