Buoyant Harps have even more reasons to be cheerful

PUBLISHED: 17:00 15 January 2018 | UPDATED: 14:41 18 January 2018

Bobby Tane feels the force of the tackle but still manages to flick the ball away. Picture: MELANIE MCLOUGHLIN

Bobby Tane feels the force of the tackle but still manages to flick the ball away. Picture: MELANIE MCLOUGHLIN

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Harpenden cheered their supporters up on a cold winter’s day with a 38-5 win over Hammersmith & Fulham.

Conor McClean runs the dummy scissors route leaving Ollie Mann to pass the ball out. Picture: MELANIE MCLOUGHLINConor McClean runs the dummy scissors route leaving Ollie Mann to pass the ball out. Picture: MELANIE MCLOUGHLIN

These are positive times at Redbourn Lane as the club members have voted emphatically to sanction the proposal for an all-weather pitch, together with floodlights, be installed in the close season.

The result keeps Harps on the coat tails of Hampstead and HAC who sit two and three points ahead of them respectively in what is turning into a three-horse race at the top of London North West Two.

It was only a matter of time before Harpenden scored, having three times spurned a chance to kick at goal, preferring instead to go to touch.

The surprise was it took 25 minutes, fly-half Ollie Mann running through but touching down a bit too far out for the try to be converted.

Harpenden look to exploit the numbers in midfield. Picture: MELANIE MCLOUGHLINHarpenden look to exploit the numbers in midfield. Picture: MELANIE MCLOUGHLIN

No sooner had Mann scored before he was followed over the whitewash by centre Bobby Tane.

And to finish off the half, back-row Ryan Gue, who had a fine game all round, completed the hat-trick of tries, with Mann converting this effort for a 17-0 lead at the break.

The second half was played out in a different way by the Hammers because their coach had possibly realised that Harpenden, due to a lack of one or two key players, were not as big a threat as first feared.

This resulted in a try on the right-hand side of the pitch 10 minutes into the second period.

Harpenden's quick break leaves players all over the park. Picture: MELANIE MCLOUGHLINHarpenden's quick break leaves players all over the park. Picture: MELANIE MCLOUGHLIN

But slowly the Harpenden forwards reasserted their authority, and with constant possession from Ollie Lacey and Tom Rolfe at the line-outs, and great work from their back-row, the platform was created for a number attacks on the Hammers’ line.

One was also thankful for the front row who held firm, where George Rolfe, Tom’s brother, handled himself well.

The highlight of the day in the final quarter involving a fabulous off-load from Tane to Tom Sweeney to score a try which Mann converted.

A few minutes later Gue scored from a push-over near the Hammers’ posts when the visitors were down to 14 men and Conor McClean hit the final nail in the coffin by scoring Harpenden’s sixth.

Bobby Tane feels the force of the tackle but still manages to flick the ball away. Picture: MELANIE MCLOUGHLINBobby Tane feels the force of the tackle but still manages to flick the ball away. Picture: MELANIE MCLOUGHLIN

Both these tries were converted by Mann, bringing his personal tally to 13 points.

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