Trebles for Randall and Wheatley as Harpenden get the better of brave Tabard

PUBLISHED: 13:55 07 February 2018 | UPDATED: 13:57 07 February 2018

Harpenden RFC v Tabard. Picture: Kevin Lines

Harpenden RFC v Tabard. Picture: Kevin Lines

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Hat-tricks for Alex Randall and Adam Wheatley helped Harpenden back on the winning trail with a 58-7 victory over Tabard at Redbourn Lane.

Tabard try to free the ball. Picture: Kevin LinesTabard try to free the ball. Picture: Kevin Lines

Wheatley was making his return to first-team action after a spell away while former hooker Randall is clearly flourishing in his new back-row role.

Harpenden RFC v Tabard. Picture: Kevin LinesHarpenden RFC v Tabard. Picture: Kevin Lines

But while Harpenden were running in a total of 10 tires, Tabard were battling for everything.

Tabard fly half releases the ball. Picture: Kevin LinesTabard fly half releases the ball. Picture: Kevin Lines

Struggling at the bottom of the London North West Two table, they are almost certainties for relegation but yet again, and despite the score, they played some encouraging rugby and kept going to the end.

Harpenden RFC v Tabard. Picture: Kevin LinesHarpenden RFC v Tabard. Picture: Kevin Lines

The effort of the team, many of whom are being asked to step up to higher level of rugby than they have been used to is unquestioned and you would like to hope that both they and the club will be the beneficiaries of that experience.

Harpenden RFC v Tabard. Picture: Kevin LinesHarpenden RFC v Tabard. Picture: Kevin Lines

Second-rows Price and Brown in particular are looking better with each game they play and Padraig Naughton was tackling anything that came his way and is showing a great awareness for the game

Oli Lacey for Harpenden. Picture: Kevin LinesOli Lacey for Harpenden. Picture: Kevin Lines

Their only score came in the second half from John Tilley, after fine work from Jack Reilly and Aaron Priscott set him up.

Harpenden v Tabard. Picture: Kevin LinesHarpenden v Tabard. Picture: Kevin Lines

Reilly added the conversion but by that point Harpenden were out of sight.

Harpenden on the attack. Picture: Kevin LinesHarpenden on the attack. Picture: Kevin Lines

They had gone in at half-time leading 29-0 and had added two more tries.

Tabard try to snatch the ball. Picture: Kevin LinesTabard try to snatch the ball. Picture: Kevin Lines

Randall had opened the scoring after a strong break down the left touchline by Jordan Sullivan-Warner who then got a try himself, feeding off determined running from Ed Preston.

Harpenden RFC v Tabard. Picture: Kevin LinesHarpenden RFC v Tabard. Picture: Kevin Lines

Wheatley’s trio all came in this half, with the second the best of the bunch as he tore through the Tabard defence.

Harpenden RFC v Tabard. Picture: Kevin LinesHarpenden RFC v Tabard. Picture: Kevin Lines

Ollie Mann had converted two of them and added two more in the second half, the first following Randall’s second, Sullivan-Warner and Adam Wilkinson the two creators, and the second after Preston had barged his way over.

Harpenden RFC v Tabard. Picture: Kevin LinesHarpenden RFC v Tabard. Picture: Kevin Lines

Wilkinson got his name on the score sheet and Sullivan-Warner scored again before Randall completed a good day for Harps.

Harpenden go over for a try. Picture: Kevin LinesHarpenden go over for a try. Picture: Kevin Lines

One bit of club history was made for Tabard with the appearance of the Gough boys, Harry, Teddy and George, being the first time a trio of brothers have been selected in the first XV since the Smith’s back in 1983.

Harpenden claim a line out. Picture: Kevin LinesHarpenden claim a line out. Picture: Kevin Lines

Harpenden remain third in the league behind Hampstead and HAC and their next match is away to fifth-placed Chiswick on February 17.

Tabard host Enfield Ignatians that day.

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