Royston end season with narrow defeat

Old Millhillians 20-17 Royston RUFC

A MUCH-CHANGED Royston RUFC travelled up the A1 to visit league champions Old Millhillians on Saturday.

With a last minute change due to some players being help up in transit, front-row forward and stand-in captain, Jamie Green, had to move to play at scrum-half, with Simon Kiwi moving out to centre while ageless veteran Paul Rabbetts slotted in at open-side flanker. Millhillians kicked off confidently and attacked from all angles but impressive Royston defending from the likes of Shackleton and Alford kept them out.

Royston used their strong driving mauls and the boot of Deards to play themselves out of trouble and, when the opportunity came about, the pace of Ellis and Morris to make vital yards.

Millhillians kept coming and struck twice through their speedy full-back and once through their pack, but the intensity of the Royston defence forced them into making three substitutions which severely disrupted their play, and Millhillians took a 17-0 lead into half time.

Royston regrouped and replenished vital fluid levels in the searing heat at half time and tore into their opponents from the off.

Royston’s first try was scored by winger Dan Skuce who had outpaced the whole Millhillians teams to touch down between the posts, with Deards converting.

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Sam Morris then used his weight and muscle to crash through four defenders to score his first try of the season to make it 17-12.

Royston were well on top at this stage but a dubious penalty in the final 15 minutes allowed Millhillians to open up a seven-point lead.

Undeterred, Royston clawed their way back and a fantastic solo effort from Ben Ritsema where he tapped a quick penalty and outran the defence to score under the posts, dragged Royston back into it.

Unfortunately the conversion was missed and with the score at 20-17 the referee called time on what was a fantastic game of rugby and the end of Royston’s league campaign.