Royston lose in cup final
ROYSTON lost in the Final of the Hertfordshire President s Trophy on Sunday to Old Verulamians, who are the highest-ranked team in the competition. This is the third tier of the county competitions, which are open to all clubs in RFU level nine and below
ROYSTON lost in the Final of the Hertfordshire President's Trophy on Sunday to Old Verulamians, who are the highest-ranked team in the competition.
This is the third tier of the county competitions, which are open to all clubs in RFU level nine and below.
Royston were in fact second seed, and had justified their ranking by scoring over 40 points against South Oxhey and Hatfield in the previous two rounds.
Unfortunately, though, a clash of dates meant most of the Royston first XV were away on tour in Hamburg on the same weekend as the final.
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This left Scott Easy to captain a side made up of second-team players, Veterans and Colts to take on their opponents from St Albans, who had conveniently arranged their tour for the previous weekend.
Nevertheless, Royston surprised their opponents in the first half, when, playing into the teeth of an unseasonal May tempest of wind and rain, they held their more illustrious opponents to a lead of only 10-3 at half time and seven of those points came courtesy of a lucky bounce straight into the arms of the OVs outside centre who was able to run in under the posts unopposed.
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Royston had scored a penalty after 10 minutes when Colin Letch had economically stroked the ball just over the crossbar. Letch, along with Easy and veteran hooker, Billy Payne, who took two strikes against the head, had been at the forefront of Royston's dogged defence.
In the second half, the weather abated slightly and Royston, exhausted from their first half efforts, were unable to take full advantage of the elements.
The OVs outside centre amazingly benefited from another ricochet straight into his arms to score another simple run-in and the touch judge unbelievably missed a clearance kick bouncing on the touchline which enabled OVs to kick ahead and ultimately score while Royston hesitated.
Nevertheless, OVs deserved their victory and scored two excellent tries that would have put them beyond Royston's reach in any event.
Royston had the last say, though, when good work by Colts full-back, Rob Morris, took Royston into the OVs 22, where the defence was penalised for holding on. Jason Turkington took a quick tapped penalty and passed to substitute Steve Mills who crossed the line.
Letch used too much economy with the conversion which fell just under the bar.
Flanker Jack Hillman and Lock Jamie Green were both outstanding in defence and scrum half Paul Edwards kept the opposition flankers on their toes with his sniping runs. Fly-half Dave Marvel and centre Chris Richards both made excellent breaks but Royston were unable to capitalise.