Roston start season with a bang

Rouston beat one of early season promotion hopefuls

ROYSTON CROWS began their league campaign with a convincing victory against a strong Old Millhillians side at The Heath on Saturday.

Royston played against the wind in the first half but started the game strongly, with big hits coming in from skipper Damien Fouracres and South African-born Matthew Muirhead in the opening phases of the game. A well-drilled Old Millhillians backline used the wind well to keep the Crows pegged back into their half and, after some ill-discipline from Royston, were awarded a penalty which gave them a 3-0 lead.

Royston came straight back from the restart but to no avail, as their opponents extended the lead after a clever chip led to a OM line-out which was driven over the line to make it 10-0 with 25 minutes gone.

This spurred Royston into action and a strong 45-metre run from young Ritsema was followed with an excellent offload to league debutant Kevin Parslow to power over the line with only a few minutes remaining before half time. The conversion was missed leaving the score 10-5 at halftime.

The second half was a different story for Royston and with the wind behind them they were now full of confidence. A series of excellent set piece plays from the forwards allowed the backs to really open up their legs and put pressure on the OM’s defence.

Dave Ayeliffe picked up from the back to snipe across the line to take the score to 10-10 before a difficult conversion was kicked by Michael Schurch to give Royston the lead for the first time in the match.

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Royston were now dominating all aspects of the game and a loose pass from OM’s saw substitute Jason Noy pounce on the ball and slice through the backline to score Royston’s third try of the day, converted by Schurch to take the lead to 19-10.

A minor lapse in concentration in the Royston defence made the scoreline 19-17 with only 12 minutes to play but this only served to spur the Crows back on the attack and excellent running from Scott Easy and Louis Dummett put Royston right back on the front foot. A mazy run from Robert Turner carved through the OM’s backline before touching down under the posts for a converted try.

The win was sealed and the bonus point was also secured after Royston closed out the last few minutes effectively.

Head coach, Steve Hall, said after the game: “We have the potential to be a very strong side in this league this year. We have set ourselves many goals for the season and after today’s performance we have firepower to achieve them.

“Today was a statement of how far the team has come within the last few months and shows our hard work in pre-season has paid off.”

Royston Crows: L Dummet, T Dummet, Fouracres, Richardson (Ayeliffe), Sparkes, Easy, Dioke, Muirhead, Fry ( Noy J), Woodall, Ritsema (Turner), Parslow, Schurch, Ball, Collins.