Struggling Royston's hopes are dashed

PUBLISHED: 11:48 16 February 2006 | UPDATED: 14:35 12 May 2010

Old Haberdashers 15pts Royston 5pts ROYSTON'S relegation worries deepened following Saturday's defeat at mid-table Haberdashers. The game began with both sides holding good spells of possession in an evenly-contested battle across the park. Despite some

Old Haberdashers 15pts Royston 5pts ROYSTON'S relegation worries deepened following Saturday's defeat at mid-table Haberdashers. The game began with both sides holding good spells of possession in an evenly-contested battle across the park. Despite some opportunities falling the visitors' way the home side made the first impression on the scoreboard when they kicked a penalty close to the Royston line. From the ensuing lineout their lock forward collected the ball allowing for the Dashers' pack to maul their way to the line for the five points. The lineout was to prove influential in all three of the hosts' tries with two more drives from the line allowing a further 10 points to be added. It was Royston's inability to counter their driving maul that ultimately made the difference between the two teams come the final whistle. Royston managed a consolation try from Aaron on the wing when he capitalised on the hosts' inability to cope with his deft chip. The resulting kick was surprisingly missed by Dave Marvell which completed an unsuccessful day with the boot for both fly-halfs. Royston will prepare themselves for their visit to Old Tottonians on Saturday which, with both teams struggling in the Herts/Middlesex League, is a crucial clash. Royston Vets 47pts Old Grammarians 5pts A DOMINANT performance saw Royston play some beautiful rugby as they ran Old Grammarians into the ground. The interchanging of passes between forwards and backs and the strong direct running meant points steadily accumulated throughout the game. In the first 20 minutes Royston played the game tight, with the pack denying the opposition the ball with big rolling mauls. Colin Dacey, in command at scrum-half, dictated when the backs were to have the ball. The first try was from a maul near the Grammarians line. Billy Payne, as always near the ball, took a short pop pass and by handing off the tackler crashed over the line and under the posts, making Colin Dacey's conversion an easy one. The second try soon followed and this time it was captain Steve Luckman who grabbed the five points. Royston took their foot slightly off the pedal and allowed Grammarians into the game as they tried the tactic of rolling mauls with their big forwards. Grammarians' solitary points came from a penalty move near the Royston line. The half-time score of 14-5 was rather deceiving and Royston upped the commitment. The pack took control of the scrummages with Billy Payne getting the better of his opposition hooker. Simon Rees jumping at number two in the lineout cleaned out his opponent and the backs had plenty of clean ball. Steff Gordon created the holes and Ronnie Barker was charging through them. The points flowed as Tony Payne swept into the line from deep and was over, while Mark Lisher deceived his tacklers with a dummy pass and a side-step. The forwards kept providing clean ball, not only from set pieces but also by joining the backs. The back row trio of Tony Richardson, Steve Luckman and Mike Crossley were everywhere. Old Grammarians could not keep up with play and with points constantly ticking over their heads soon dropped. Neil Smith, using his pace, rounded his defence for five points while Steve Luckman used the much more direct route for his second try. The last try went to Cameron Murdoch, back after a long injury. A simple lineout saw Cameron collect the ball in the middle of the park and, rather than using his pace to go the long way round the defence, he decided to dance his way through the middle and place the ball under the posts. Colin Dacey knocked over six conversions in total to make the tally 47 points for Royston Vets.

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