Better from Harpenden but result stays the same against Hampstead

Ed Preston scored one of three Harpenden tries against Hampstead. Picture: KARYN HADDON

Ed Preston scored one of three Harpenden tries against Hampstead. Picture: KARYN HADDON - Credit: Archant

Despite playing some of their best rugby this season Harpenden failed to overcome a good Hampstead side, losing 34-21.

Their efforts were not helped by losing two players to serious injuries in the first half, which greatly affected the team’s balance.

And with plenty of other players missing with knocks, Harps must discover winning ways before much longer.

This was their fifth defeat in a row and another slow start was again partly responsible.

Two minutes were on the clock when Hampstead’s backs quickly fed the right wing and he crossed for an easy score.

That lead stretched further with a penalty on 15 minutes and it wasn’t until six minutes from the break that Harpenden finally got on the board when Ollie Walker broke clear. Tom Sweeney converted.

Any hopes of that being the start of a Harpenden comeback ended with a yellow card and 17 unanswered points for the hosts in a 13-minute period of the second half.

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However, it resulted in Harp’s best period of rugby, allowing them to pull back 14 points.

Ed Preston got the first with Fred Gulliford the second, crashing over from the base of a ruck.

Both were converted by Tom Sweeney.

That brought Harpenden to within six a converted try of a bonus-point win but while they pressed it was Hampstead who broke clear to score in the final play.

Welwyn provide the opposition on Saturday at Redbourn Lane.

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