Royston produce a fine display

Royston under-eights produced a fine display to win the Letchworth tournament, on Sunday. Royston took control in their first game, against hosts Letchworth, and through some fantastic running from Sam Hurd with support from Joseph Simons and Ashley Jone

Royston under-eights produced a fine display to win the Letchworth tournament, on Sunday.

Royston took control in their first game, against hosts Letchworth, and through some fantastic running from Sam Hurd with support from Joseph Simons and Ashley Jones they managed a comfortable win.

The second game with Stevenage proved to be tougher, but Royston's defence was second to none, with newcomer Charlie Pearson's fine show of tackling, Royston went on to win again.

During the last group game Roystons first half left them a try down, not to be outdone, Royston scored three tries without any reply from Datchworth, taking Royston through to the final.

After a tense wait Royston played Letchworth in the final. An early Letchworth try woke Royston up, who replied immediately with a try in the corner. Letchworth scored again, only for Jamie Drage to equalise for Royston with minutes to go.

Great pressure from the Royston defence forced a dropped ball which was pounced on by Joseph Simons.

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Royston took three attempts to score, each time granted a penalty for offside. Great support play and passing resulted in a last minute try to take Royston on to win the final 5-4.

- The first under-17 game of the season proved to be a strongly contested game with local rivals Hitchin.

Despite only having 14 players Royston rarely allowed the opposition to dominate the game and fought tooth and nail as a team to push the visitors all the way.

This gritty resilience was even more obvious in the second half when injury reduced the home side to 13 players for 10 minutes.

Despite early season rustiness Royston battled to the end and gave their all, their guts and determination obvious to all the spectators. Joe Cullen, in particular, showed outstanding attitude.

Royston dominated the first half, using the conditions to their advantage, and camped in the Hitchin half for long periods.

The lineout provided great ball and the backs tried hard to create openings but the final tackle always came in to deny the try. A Cottrell penalty was the only score in the first half.

In the second half the visitors started to use their numerical advantage and ran in three tries, despite some great tackling by Joe Hillman and Adam Smith.

After each score Royston rallied hard and took the game to the opposition and managed to gain a lot of territory but again could not convert it to points.

- There was also success for Royston's under-10s at Letchworth.

Sidney Edney and Sam Segameglio both scored in a 10-0 victory against the hosts in their first game, and the scoreline was repeated against Stevenage thanks to scores from Segameglio and Harry Wilson.

The last pool game against Datchworth proved a timely warning. A well drilled Datchworth team more than matched Royston in the forwards and scored an opportunist try to seal a deserved win.

This provided Royston with excellent motivation as Royston and Datchworth met again in the final.

The final started with a bang, and Royston tore into Datchworth. The team refused to concede ground and forced the opposition back and camped in the Datchworth half.

After five minutes Royston were rewarded as Murdock burrowed over from close range, and was soon followed by Norcross to double the score. Royston were determined not to let the advantage slip and in the second half created two further scores for Segameglio to lead 20-0.

There was enough time for Datchworth to rally for two scores, but it was too little too late and Royston enjoyed a 20-10 victory and lifted the Festival Trophy amid wild celebrations.

- Royston under-13s travelled to the home of Cambridge RFC on Sunday to take part in their first competition of the year, the Cambridgeshire Cup.

They were drawn in the same pool as the hosts, as well as St Ives and Ely. Hampered by a number of injuries, it was a depleted Royston squad which took the field against an Ely side they had beaten two weeks earlier.

With honours even at half-time and running into a strong wind, Royston's, injury woes worsened deep into the second half when fly half Tom Stone and full back Tom Strubel were both injured trying unsuccessfully to prevent a try by the Ely backs.

Having lost the first match by this single score, Royston then took on the hosts without the sidelined Stone but with Strubel restored to defensive duties.

Strong running and tackling by the Cambridge pack yielded a try on their first drive followed by a second score shortly afterwards following some misplaced Royston passing.

A third try followed when the Cambridge wing burst through unopposed on the right to make the half time score 17-0.

With Strubel trading long kicks with the Cambridge fly-half, the second half started brighter for Royston, however they were unable to contain a larger, more physical set of backs and a fourth try for the hosts soon followed.

Cambridge sealed their win with a fifth try after some missed tackles by the tiring and beleaguered Royston players.

In their third pool match against St Ives an even start soon gave way to one way traffic as the powerful St Ives forwards started to exert control.

Leading 12-0 at the break, St Ives continued to pressurise Royston players into making mistakes and a turnover ball spilled from a robust tackle led to their third try under the posts.

Late into the game, Royston rallied well and upped their tackling but despite some strong running by James Clare and Ben Doughty, supported by James Richardson, Nathan Crossman and Adam Richardson they were unable to affect the outcome of the match and finally lost 17-0