Clinical Medics defeat Harpenden
London Three North West Harpenden 14 Imperial Medicals 20 HARPENDEN were given a lesson in finishing on Saturday by a visiting Imperial Medicals side who arrived at Redbourn Lane without a win to their name this season. The Men In Black started well and
London Three North West
Harpenden 14 Imperial Medicals 20
HARPENDEN were given a lesson in finishing on Saturday by a visiting Imperial Medicals side who arrived at Redbourn Lane without a win to their name this season.
The Men In Black started well and young flyer Tom Muskett beat his marker and chipped the ball over the covering full back, only to be harshly beaten by the bounce.
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The Medics had the heavier pack ensuring good possession for their snappy backs. Led by their robust fly-half, Medics created holes in which their runners supported and only some excellent covering tackles from Jonny Barton and the returning Rob Dumpleton kept chances to a minimum.
By half time the Medics had kicked a penalty and scored a converted try after a good break from the winger. Harpenden were denied a score when Muskett executed another chip and chase but his appeals for a try were ignored and a 22 drop out was awarded to Medics.
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With the Harpenden scrum under intense scrutiny from the larger and more experienced Medics pack, skipper Joe Tennant's back line were living on scraps of possession. Kicking deep and attempting to turn the away side's wingers, Harpenden's reliance on their impressive line out proved to be a good source of possession.
Medics again showed the potency to strike after another quick break into Harpenden territory. The conversion was missed but they now led by 15 points.
The home side rallied well after some stern words from coach Ali Barton, with further attacking play and strong running but without reward. However, a wide angled pass by Alan Barton allowed speedster Patterson the chance to close the gap from 20 metres out, an invitation the winger took. The conversion was added by Jonny Barton from out wide.
With Harpenden throwing all at Medics in the closing stages, gaps appeared in their defence from which the away side could prosper. One such raid culminated in a superb defensive tackle by in-form Dan Tennant which prevented a certain try.
The last quarter saw Medics grow in confidence. Their fly half relished the opportunity to play with a pack going forward and created a try from a well-judged grubber kick into the corner. From the ensuing line out Medics ran a move straight from the training ground, as their speedy winger bustled over in the corner. The conversion was missed.
There was just time for Harpenden to show the crowd what they are capable of with a fine team try which culminated in Patterson again crashing over from some 40 metres out for his fourth try in two games. Harpenden's inability to adapt their wider game plans as well as their lack of physicality at the breakdown cost them a vital win at Redbourn Lane. Harpenden's next game is away at Hampstead which will prove a stern test of their league chances this season.
Harpenden: Peck, Tennant D, McDonald, Dumbleton, Harmer, Adams, Settle, Wilkinson, Homan, Tennant J, Barton A, Barton J, Musket, Patterson, Childs. Subs: Cross, Hoare, Stagg.
Harpenden seconds recorded their fourth straight win on Saturday against Stevenage Town, 51-10.