All Goode for Harpenden as Staines are vanquished
- Credit: Archant
Three tries from captain Michael Goode helped Harpenden to a convincing 31-5 London North West Two Division win over basement club Staines.
Oliver Mann and Ashley Smith scored the others, with Tom Sweeney kicking three conversions.
Goode’s treble came despite the skipper having time off the pitch in the second period with an arm injury.
A strong crosswind, blowing slightly in their favour in the first half, allowed Harpenden to turn around with a 26-0 advantage.
Controlled kicking was the order of the day and it was fly-half Mann who utilised a clever chip over the Staines back-line 10 metres out to score the opening try.
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Harpenden continued to threaten the opposition line without success until Goode opened his account, ably assissted by the rest of the forwards, near to the uprights.
Sweeney converted that as he did for the next two tries.
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Left wing Smith finished off after a determined run by Ed Preston and Goode scored his second following a tap penalty about 15 metres out.
Injuries to a number of Harpenden players made life difficult in the second half but they managed to withstand the various attacks on their line.
In turn, the backs tried the ambitious object of passing long and risking the inevitable interception. It transpired their luck held out during a period of solid defence and they were also helped when, for a while, the visitors were reduced to 13 with twenty minutes remaining.
Goode’s hat-trick score settled any nerves and Staines were left with little more than a consolation when full-back Andre Thomas Richards raced through a couple of defenders with a few minutes remaining.
But it was a strong performance by Harpenden although coach, Matt Davies, will no doubt wish for more when the team travels to Old Haberdashers next Saturday.