Youngsters are in command
PUBLISHED: 10:47 01 November 2007 | UPDATED: 15:17 12 May 2010
Old Albanians Under-17 B 7 Royston 15 ROYSTON strode to a well-deserved victory as their re-shuffled side dominated from the start. The visitors welcomed back Adam Smith after a month on the sidelines, and the returning Josh Langley, and debutants Aaron
Old Albanians Under-17 B 7 Royston 15
ROYSTON strode to a well-deserved victory as their re-shuffled side dominated from the start.
The visitors welcomed back Adam Smith after a month on the sidelines, and the returning Josh Langley, and debutants Aaron Penaluna and Dan Dare.
And Royston were quickly on the score sheet when fly-half Ben Ritsema's neat chip found Smith and he outpaced the hosts' defence and ran over from half-way out.
However, their early dominance did the visitors a disservice as they began to sit back. And when an Old Albanians centre intercepted and sprinted clear between the posts, Royston were soon trailing when the conversion was easily kicked.
Realising that they now had a game on their hands, Royston began to settle with Ritsema pinning the home side into their 22 with some excellent tactical kicking, which was followed up by Andy Smith and James O'Sullivan.
And Royston regained the lead just before half-time when another probing kick was dropped and lost over the line by the Old Boys' full-back, and the chasing Andy Smith dived through to touch down and give the visitors a three-point half-time lead.
It was much of the same for Royston in the second half, as captain Joe Cullen and his fellow front-row forwards Ed Hall and Leon Rigaut kept the home side pushed back, while the back three of Daniel Ritsema, Ben Scullion and Darren Grover thwarted any danger.
Grover broke his collar bone in one shuddering tackle on an opposition full-back and was replaced by Tom Schurch.
And Royston gained further reward when the forwards drove second row Scott Baker over for an excellent try.
The Old Boys tried desperately to respond, but Royston's foraging back row of Kieron Baker, George Elbourn, and Dare repelled everything around the fringes, and the backs, epitomised by man-of-the-match James O'Sullivan, stood firm.