Royston defeated by league leaders

But Under-13s do the business against Biggleswade

Royston RFC 12

Old Merchant Taylors 41

Herts/Middlesex 2

INJURY-RAVAGED Royston were downed by league-leaders Old Merchant Taylors on Saturday, with three early tries setting the tone for a difficult afternoon for the home team.

Royston started with no recognised fly-half, so Rollo Sparks manfully stepped up to the plate to fill the void. The three early tries – all of which were converted – put the Crows on the back foot and they were depleted further soon afterwards when Shackleton was sent to the sin-bin. OMTs scored another try with the one-man advantage, before Turlais was also sin-binned after Shackleton’s return to the field, as the home side seemed content to make life as easy as possible for the visitors.

Royston hit back with some tremendous work by Paul Rabbetts, who put Alex Hiom through on a charge to score a try on the stroke of half-time.

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Royston carried on the good work as the second half started with big driving mauls and powerful rucking, and Paul Greaves added a second Royston try which Scott Easy converted and an improbable fightback looked plausible. Unfortunately an enthusiastic Muirhead entered the fray to also receive a sin-binning within 30 seconds of his arrival, which knocked the wind out of Royston’s sails. And as legs and lungs wore out after playing 50 minutes with 14 men, OMTs ran in a couple of tries to seal the win.

Meanwhile, Royston U13s defeated Biggleswade 43-21 in their third league match of the season.

Royston started slowly and let Biggleswade in for a try early on. From the restart great rucking from the Royston forwards Jack Harvey and Joseph Ellison recycled the ball and the backs controlled by Lyle Clark moved the ball quickly to the wing and Ed Shannon motored under the posts to level the scores.

Just before half time Biggleswade went over for their second try but the Royston tackling was superb, especially from Joseph Simons and Tom Raymen, which meant Royston were only one try behind at the break.

After the break Royston really started to come good and strong running form Zac connelly and Jamie Capewell set up good possession. This was shipped out wide to provide great ball for the ever-impressive Ashley Jones who provided quick ball for Will Tyrrell to power over for the try. Royston then took control of the game and a great break from the scrum-half Joseph Simons set up the next try for Shannon in the corner.

Shannon ran in two more tries for his hat-trick and, not to be outdone, Tyrrell also grabbed two more for his hat-trick. Royston grew in confidence and good runs from Jake Letch, Jake Storey kept Royston going forward and Royston were unlucky not to score more tries. A rally at the end from Biggleswade saw them score a try right on the final whistle but this took nothing away from a great all-round Royston performance.