Vets find it tough going

Upper Clapton Vets 32 Royston Vets 12 UNDER the new captainship of Steve Crook Royston battled hard, but found a strong Upper Clapton more than a match. The visitors controlled the first quarter and starved Upper Clapton of the ball, with Jason Downes g

Upper Clapton Vets 32 Royston Vets 12

UNDER the new captainship of Steve Crook Royston battled hard, but found a strong Upper Clapton more than a match.

The visitors controlled the first quarter and starved Upper Clapton of the ball, with Jason Downes going agonisingly close to bagging an early Royston try.

However, despite their control Royston found themselves six points down following two Clapton penalties.


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As a result the hosts began to gather momentum and courtesy of some clever play in the loose, they denied Royston and created a number of chances for themselves. With the Clapton points starting to flow, The Crows had the crunching tackles of Cameron Murdoch, Tony Payne and Paul Lawrence to thank for the keeping the score in sight.

But all was not lost as Adam Smith chipped cleverly into open space, and after speeding into the gap he collected the loose ball and freed winger Paul Lawrence for a brilliantly worked try.

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Colin Dacey got the extra two points with Royston back in the hunt.

Unfortunately for the visitors the second half was not as close as the first, as Upper Clapton spun the ball wide to their strong and experienced running backs. Royston made a number of changes with Ponting and Will Bath both making an impression in the tight, but too often the Royston players became isolated.

Despite Upper Clapton having a player sin- binned, Royston could not get their game going and were heavily penalised. Colin Letch and Brian Bergen worked hard to gain the yardage by graft, while Adam Smith tormented the hosts with his weaving runs.

However, Upper Clapton remained strong and ran out worthy winners. Having showed a little rustiness, Royston will look to bounce back in two weeks time when they take on old rivals Cambridge Vanguards.

Royston Vets: Howell, B Payne, Boyce, Bath, Bergen, Crow, Downes, Letch, Dacey, Smith, Murdoch, Bristow, Carter, Lawrence, T Payne. (Subs); Ponting, Crook, Rees.

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