Barber a cut above for dominant Harpenden

PUBLISHED: 06:45 31 January 2017

Luke Barber in action for Harpenden RFC. Picture: KARYN HADDON

Luke Barber in action for Harpenden RFC. Picture: KARYN HADDON

Archant

Harpenden produced their best display of the season in crushing Enfield Ignatians 50-3 with an often scintillating display of free-flowing rugby.

Harpenden RFC v Enfield IgnatiansHarpenden RFC v Enfield Ignatians

In running in eight unanswered tries, they went a long way to erasing memories of a painful 39-20 defeat at the hands of the north Londoners in October.

The victory, which cements their fifth place in London Two North West, puts them in great heart for the visit to league leaders Old Haberdashers on February 11.

Skipper Oli Lacey said: “I’m over the moon. This was our best performance of the season as we were playing a good side.

“We needed to respond after our defeat at Belsize Park last week and did so emphatically with accuracy and effort.”

Harpenden RFC v Enfield IgnatiansHarpenden RFC v Enfield Ignatians

Thanks to the pack bossing matters upfront, Harps were dominant from the outset, but it took them until nearly halfway through the first-half to score when full-back Luke Barber touched down under the posts.

Harry Hutchins added the conversion.

Although Enfield hit back quickly with a penalty, Harps immediately increased their lead when right wing Max Baggio touched down.

A minute later outside centre Tom Stagg went over for a third try following a powerful break by left-wing Ollie Brown.

Harps began the second half in similar vein but for the first quarter of an hour the final ball too often went astray and only some fine tackling prevented an Enfield score.

However on 55 minutes Barber touched down under the posts after a defence-splitting run by stand-off Ollie Mann. Hutchins again converted.

Connor McLean went under the posts on 65 minutes and shortly afterwards Barber went over for his hat-trick. Each time Hutchins added the extra points.

To their great credit, Enfield refused to be beaten but they had no answer to Harps’ relentless attacks, and in the final minutes Brown and flanker Bobby Tane both went over for tries.

Hutchins added one conversion to round off a memorable day.

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