Harpenden lose out to high flying Civil Service

PUBLISHED: 10:26 22 October 2009 | UPDATED: 14:33 06 May 2010

Harpenden’s First XV pose for the camera in their new pink alternative strip. Photo: Supplied

Harpenden’s First XV pose for the camera in their new pink alternative strip. Photo: Supplied

London One North Harpenden 10 Civil Service 24 HARPENDEN First XV s tough run of fixtures continued on Saturday when they played host to high flying Civil Service. With a Ladies Lunch being held to raise funds and awareness for Breast Cancer, the First XV

London One North

Harpenden 10 Civil Service 24

HARPENDEN First XV's tough run of fixtures continued on Saturday when they played host to high flying Civil Service.

With a Ladies Lunch being held to raise funds and awareness for Breast Cancer, the First XV turned out in their new pink alternative strip to support the good cause.

The game kicked off in now customary fashion with Harpenden conceding early in the game to give Civil Service the initiative.

The visitors grabbed this with both hands and although Harpenden's pack put in a much improved performance to recent weeks, they could not stop the visitor's impressive forwards from powering over for their first seven points.

They added another try and penalty to their total to take the half-time score to 17-0. Whilst this suggests one-way traffic, the Men in Black were encouraged at the chances they had managed to create. However, it was the inability to convert possession and territory into points that made the second half more of a challenge than perhaps it needed to be.

With some positive and encouraging words from coaches Ali, Simon and Mark, Harpenden began the second period with a renewed belief and energy. This was clear for the large crowd to see as some solid defence stemmed the Civil Service tide and the flow slowly began to turn the way of the hosts.

It was from a crunching tackle in midfield from Jon Barton that a turnover ball was won. With tails now up, Harpenden worked some good phases of play to be rewarded with a try, courtesy of the ever-dangerous Pattison.

This surged the Harpenden pack into action and an aggressive scrum created an opportunity for Alan Barton to get his hands on the ball. The elusive scrum-half stepped his man before outpacing two defenders to touch down and give the Redbourn Lane club an unlikely chance of a comeback.

This was followed soon after by a break through the Civil Service centres and an off-load to wing Muskett who was able to sprint for the line untouched. Controversially the referee blew for a forward pass, much to the dismay of the home crowd and surprise of both teams.

This effectively put a stop to the momentum and Civil Service were able to see out a deserved victory.

However Harpenden can take great heart from this performance and know that with returning players and a little more accuracy in taking their chances, they will soon start to turn these close losses into victories.

Harpenden travel to third-placed Ruislip this weekend for another tough encounter.

Harpenden: Gifkin, Singleton, Peters, W Peck, Roberts, Cornthwaite, Speirs, Graham, A Barton, J Tennant, Pattison, Humphrey, J Barton, Muskett, Haddock. M Peck, Ireland, J Collins.

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