A couple of rugby union clubs awoke from their Christmas slumbers to take on league action and with success too. 

Harpenden ended a run of three Regional One South East games without a win by beating Old Northamptonians 24-14 at Redbourn Lane.

Oli Lacey got them off to a great start on nine minutes with the opening try, converted by Tom Sweeney, and they had a second before the break when Alexander Bloisi crossed on 20 minutes, Sweeney again obliging with the kicking honours.

Bloisi and Sweeney added seven more points after eight second-half minutes but they could not get a bonus-point try, a Sweeney penalty with 10 minutes to go being their only other score.

They are now fifth in a fascinatingly tight race for second position, just three points behind Sudbury who occupy that place at the moment.

In Counties Three Herts Middlesex, Verulamians ended phase one of the season top of the table, following an 18-11 win at home to Chess Valley.

Old Albanians get going in National Two East on Saturday when they host ninth-placed Sevenoaks at Woollams, the side on place below them.

In Counties Two Herts Middlesex, St Albans are at home to Wasps while Tabard head across to Barnet Elizabethans.

Saints are ninth in the 10-team division while Tabard are fifth.

Verulamians don't play in the league again until January 27 when Watford visit Cotlandswick.