Simons says mine's a treble but Datchworth are made to work hard for Royston spoils

PUBLISHED: 15:37 20 February 2019 | UPDATED: 15:41 20 February 2019

Datchworth V Royston .


Picture: Karyn Haddon

Datchworth V Royston . Picture: Karyn Haddon

Archant

A hat-trick for John Simons was enough to bring a ninth straight win for Datchworth in London Three North West - but they were made to work for every inch of the 44-29 success by a dogged Royston side.

Datchworth V Royston .


Picture: Karyn HaddonDatchworth V Royston . Picture: Karyn Haddon

In fact the final score was slightly harsh on the north Hertfordshire club and had it not been for solid organisation from the Men in Green, this boisterous Royston side could well have ruined any promotion dreams for the villagers.

Datchworth V Royston - Stuart Young in action for Datchworth.


Picture: Karyn HaddonDatchworth V Royston - Stuart Young in action for Datchworth. Picture: Karyn Haddon

As it is Datch are now five points clear of Stevenage Town in second place, with the two sides meeting in the next round of fixtures on March 2 knowing a win would stack the odds of promotion in their favour.

Datchworth V Royston - Nick Gudgin in action for Datchworth.


Picture: Karyn HaddonDatchworth V Royston - Nick Gudgin in action for Datchworth. Picture: Karyn Haddon

Here it was the home side who took the lead within five minutes, Stu Young making the break and putting second row Simons into space for the first of his treble.

Datchworth V Royston - Stuart Young in action for Datchworth.


Picture: Karyn HaddonDatchworth V Royston - Stuart Young in action for Datchworth. Picture: Karyn Haddon

But soon, thanks to a few penalties, Datchworth were defending a line-out on their own 22 and with plenty of pace and a deft chip, Royston bagged a converted try to give them the lead.

Datchworth V Royston - Will Dacey for Royston.


Picture: Karyn HaddonDatchworth V Royston - Will Dacey for Royston. Picture: Karyn Haddon

Back came the hosts though as two tries restored their advantage.

Datchworth V Royston - Stuart Young in action for Datchworth.


Picture: Karyn HaddonDatchworth V Royston - Stuart Young in action for Datchworth. Picture: Karyn Haddon

Liam Walker got the first, crashing through from short range, and Stu Young the second from a pushover scrum.

Datchworth V Royston .


Picture: Karyn HaddonDatchworth V Royston . Picture: Karyn Haddon

However, yet again Royston fought back as they snaffled two almost-identical tries in five minutes to lead 19-15, both combining the very dangerous outside centre and wing pairing with good support and offloads.

Datchworth V Royston - John Simons in action for Datchworth.


Picture: Karyn HaddonDatchworth V Royston - John Simons in action for Datchworth. Picture: Karyn Haddon

The introduction of Sam McBroom settled Datchworth down slightly and the lead would soon change hands again with James Watt scoring in the corner.

Datchworth V Royston .


Picture: Karyn HaddonDatchworth V Royston . Picture: Karyn Haddon

But it was Royston who trooped off after a breathless half with the lead, a well-struck penalty making it 22-20.

Datchworth V Royston - John Simons in action for Datchworth.


Picture: Karyn HaddonDatchworth V Royston - John Simons in action for Datchworth. Picture: Karyn Haddon

A different Datchworth came out after the break and a Tom Bennett run got them into a nice position and a sharp lineout saw Simons crash over for his second.

Datchworth V Royston - John Simons in action for Datchworth.


Picture: Karyn HaddonDatchworth V Royston - John Simons in action for Datchworth. Picture: Karyn Haddon

Sam Brunton added the conversion and Tom Wood stretched that lead even further with a dart over the line.

Datchworth V Royston - Tom Bennett in action for Datchworth.


Picture: Karyn HaddonDatchworth V Royston - Tom Bennett in action for Datchworth. Picture: Karyn Haddon

But with 15 minutes to go Royston’s bonus-point score closed the gap to just three points at 32-29 and gave them a sniff of victory.

Datchworth V Royston .


Picture: Karyn HaddonDatchworth V Royston . Picture: Karyn Haddon

However, Datchworth remained composed and tries from Watt and Simons in the final minutes gave them the win with a flattering result.

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