Royston pass this test well

PUBLISHED: 09:42 18 December 2008 | UPDATED: 15:56 11 May 2010

Royston 40 - Chess Valley 5 ROYSTON had the opportunity to put their league problems behind them with a Herts RFU Presidents Trophy game against nonleague opponents from Rickmansworth on Saturday. The wind and heavy rain could have been a great levelling

Royston 40 - Chess Valley 5

ROYSTON had the opportunity to put their league problems behind them with a Herts RFU Presidents' Trophy game against nonleague opponents from Rickmansworth on Saturday.

The wind and heavy rain could have been a great levelling factor with only home advantage in Royston's favour.

Royston elected to play up the slope against the wind in the first half and appeared to be making light work of the conditions in the first period attacking strongly in the Chess Valley 22.

However, a long clearance kick and slack marking from a ruck gave Chess Valley an overlap on the left which they duly converted to give their winger a simple run into the corner.

The conversion failed.

This reverse spurred Royston into more concerted attacks and with the half back pairing of

James Martin and Mark Howard working well, the midfield backs took the opportunity to feed

Dan Ritsema on the right wing where he cleverly drew the cover before passing back inside for flanker Dave Ayliffe to score. Andy Smith brilliantly drilled the conversion over into the teeth of the gale.

Shortly afterwards a similar move down the right hand side resulted in number eight Gary

Ryall receiving the ball inside the 22; he shaped to pass inside and out while the defence stood off him until he was able to plunge over in a similar position to the previous try. This time Smith missed the conversion attempt.

Having successfully worked the right hand side Royston now switched to the left where they managed to feed the elusive Smith, who beat three defenders on his run to the try line, where he was able to go under the posts. The conversion should have been a formality, but he hit it under the bar only for a charging defender to push it up and over for the extra two points.

With a 14-point advantage and the slope and wind behind their backs, Royston were now favourites to run up a big score.

Early in the second half they duly obliged creating space on the left for Ritsema to score from an overlap. Smith converted.

From the kick off, substitute Jack Hillman caught the ball and ran directly at the Chess

Valley defence, evading several would-be tacklers and handing off three other players, he offloaded to Nick Alford who fed Howard for an easy run in under the posts. Smith made no mistake with the conversion.

Having leaked two easy tries Chess Valley now tightened up and pride and stalwart tackling kept their line intact for half an hour before man-of-the-match Howard again dived under the posts after several phases of attacks thinned the Chess Valley defence to give him a half-break close to the line. Smith again converted.

This was a morale-boosting win for Royston, who have been playing well but not quite doing enough to win in recent weeks. In the next round of the competition Royston will travel to Hatfield on January 17/18.

This weekend they return to league action with a trip to Old Haberdashers, the closest of their league opponents, in Borehamwood, with hopes high of maintaining their winning form.

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