Veterans roll back the years for Royston

PUBLISHED: 10:57 05 March 2012

Royston in action against Kilburn Cosmos

Royston in action against Kilburn Cosmos

Archant

Old heads show plenty of nouse to see off Kilburn

Royston RFC 19

Kilburn Cosmos 12

Herts/Middlesex 2

ROYSTON produced an excellent win over Kilburn Cosmos on Saturday – with the help of a number of veteran and retired players due to a lengthy absentee list prior to the match.

The starting line-up contained seven players that played for Royston at the turn of the century, but they certainly rolled back the years as the put in a superb shift to earn a hard-fought victory against a youthful and much fitter Kilburn outfit.

The Crows got off to the best possible start and scored their first try within 60 seconds when Ashley Cooper crashed over the line. Deards missed the conversion.

Royston continued to use the wind to their advantage as they looked to gain territory at every available opportunity, and force their opponents back. Kilburn grew increasingly frustrated with Royston’s experience at the breakdown and several players were punished for retaliation against the disciplined hosts.

And they were rewarded with an 11-0 lead at half-time thanks to two penalties from Deards.

The second half started with Kilburn eager to use their young backs to go around Royston – a tactic which yielded very little – but they did reduce the deficit with a breakaway try of which was converted.

This raised Kilburn’s heads and they attacked for a sustained 20-minute period. Royston withstood the relentless attacks by stopping them with nothing but heart and pride. However Kilburn finally broke through with 10 minutes of play left with a unconverted to try to go and one point ahead of Royston.

This was the time for 46-year-old former skipper Kirk Woodford to enter the fray. The introduction visibly lifted Royston and the work-rate lifted again. And in a tense final period to the match, Royston battled their way to victory an inch at a time. And their endeavours were rewarded when Scott Easy squeezed over the line before Deards’ conversion made the score 19-12 with the visitors unable to respond to the killer blow.

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