No change at top following Harpenden win over Hackney as season heads towards dramatic end

PUBLISHED: 10:00 22 March 2018

Harpenden RFC V Hackney - Edward Preston in action for Harpenden.


Picture: Karyn Haddon

Harpenden RFC V Hackney - Edward Preston in action for Harpenden. Picture: Karyn Haddon

Archant

It’s as you were at the top of London North West Two as Harpenden defeated Hackney 27-5.

Harpenden RFC V Hackney - Luke Barber in action for Harpenden.


Picture: Karyn HaddonHarpenden RFC V Hackney - Luke Barber in action for Harpenden. Picture: Karyn Haddon

It keeps Harps in third as both HAC and Hampstead above them also won.

Harpenden RFC V Hackney - Luke Barber in action for Harpenden.


Picture: Karyn HaddonHarpenden RFC V Hackney - Luke Barber in action for Harpenden. Picture: Karyn Haddon

The trio still have three games to play but with Hampstead facing both of their rivals, the last match of the season seeing them head to Harpenden’s Redbourn Lane ground, the destiny of the two promotion spots will remain up for grabs for another few weeks at least.

Harpenden RFC V Hackney - Edward Preston in action for Harpenden.


Picture: Karyn HaddonHarpenden RFC V Hackney - Edward Preston in action for Harpenden. Picture: Karyn Haddon

This game, played in filthy conditions, saw Harpenden have to grind out the result.

Harpenden RFC V Hackney - Oliver Lacey in action for Harpenden.


Picture: Karyn HaddonHarpenden RFC V Hackney - Oliver Lacey in action for Harpenden. Picture: Karyn Haddon

It was one that was never really in doubt as the Hackney defence stood firm for long periods but the hosts were always the more likely to score.

Harpenden RFC V Hackney - Callum Moyle in action for Harpenden.


Picture: Karyn HaddonHarpenden RFC V Hackney - Callum Moyle in action for Harpenden. Picture: Karyn Haddon

The half-time score of 12-0 reflected the way the play had gone.

Harpenden RFC V Hackney - Callum Moyle in action for Harpenden.


Picture: Karyn HaddonHarpenden RFC V Hackney - Callum Moyle in action for Harpenden. Picture: Karyn Haddon

After 15 minutes Luke Barber took a pass from a line-out to score a good try and five minutes later, Hackney were forced on the back foot by a tremendous shove from the Harpenden pack, who played as one throughout.

Harpenden RFC V Hackney - Callum Moyle in action for Harpenden.


Picture: Karyn HaddonHarpenden RFC V Hackney - Callum Moyle in action for Harpenden. Picture: Karyn Haddon

Hackney could hold up this express train no longer, retreated 20 metres, and collapsed with the referee awarding a penalty try.

Harpenden RFC V Hackney .


Picture: Karyn HaddonHarpenden RFC V Hackney . Picture: Karyn Haddon

Five minutes into the second half, the Harpenden back row broke free from a set scrum and fed Callum Moyle, playing in place of Ollie Mann at fly-half, who raced in to score.

Harpenden RFC V Hackney .


Picture: Karyn HaddonHarpenden RFC V Hackney . Picture: Karyn Haddon

After a period when both sides found the conditions rather difficult, Barber scored his second with an individual score on the right, bringing up the four-try bonus point.

Harpenden RFC V Hackney .


Picture: Karyn HaddonHarpenden RFC V Hackney . Picture: Karyn Haddon

Hackney got their only score with 15 minutes to go but there was still time for Tom Sweeney to complete the scoring with a fifth Harpenden score.

Harpenden RFC V Hackney .


Picture: Karyn HaddonHarpenden RFC V Hackney . Picture: Karyn Haddon

Overall, Harps’ scrum was dominant but the line-out has played much better in other games this season.

Harpenden RFC V Hackney .


Picture: Karyn HaddonHarpenden RFC V Hackney . Picture: Karyn Haddon

However, although each side conceded eight penalties at the breakdown Harpenden were superior winning seven against their rivals two.

Harpenden RFC V Hackney - Luke Barber in action for Harpenden.


Picture: Karyn HaddonHarpenden RFC V Hackney - Luke Barber in action for Harpenden. Picture: Karyn Haddon

Their next game is at home to London Nigerian on Saturday at 3pm while HAC host Harrow and Hampstead go to Hemel Hempstead.

Harpenden RFC V Hackney - Callum Moyle in action for Harpenden.


Picture: Karyn HaddonHarpenden RFC V Hackney - Callum Moyle in action for Harpenden. Picture: Karyn Haddon

Harpenden finish the season with a trip to Harrow on April 7 before the potential winner-takes-all home game with Hampstead.

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