Four-try Harpenden keep pressure on London 2NW leaders Harrow
- Credit: Archant
Harpenden kept the pressure on London 2NW leaders Harrow with a four-try outing at HAC on Saturday.
Even without leading try scorer Adam Sterling, Harpenden cut through the opposition defence time and time again on their way to win number 10 of the season. They also picked up their eighth bonus point when Adam Kelsall crossed the whitewash.
Harrow, who narrowly beat Old Haberdashers 25-24 on Saturday, have an 11-point cushion on the chasing pack, which contains Harpenden, Chiswick, Hammersmith and Fulham and Staines.
A meeting between the top two teams isn’t until March 28, at Redbourn Lane, but, with seven games before then, the result could be a big factor in where the league trophy resides.
Harpenden put Harrow on watch with their performance in London on Saturday. Strong winds affected both sides’ kicking games but HAC captain Rory Price managed to slot two penalties early in the game.
Only after conceding did Harpenden begin to find their feet, and their reply came with 25 minutes on the clock, Aaron Wilde splitting the uprights with a penalty to half the deficit.
Matt Davies was dealt a blow shortly after when Tom Muskett suffered an ankle injury and was unable to continue. However, such is Harpenden’s strength in depth that Adam Wilkinson came on and scored a try following a surge forward by scrum-half John Collins.
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Wilde added the extras and then, after notching another three points, was perfect with his next conversion following Oli Lacy’s try.
Wilde’s kicking kept the scoreboard ticking over and by the time the referee signalled half-time, Harpenden were 23-6 ahead after the centre had successfully added another penalty, his third of the match.
After the break, an reinvigorated Harpenden emerged and a swift move between Kelsall and Ed Preston released Collins to score from 40 metres.
HAC finally got one back with a try from Chris Cadman which was converted by Colin Crosby but Harpenden replied almost immediately. A clever kick from half-back Harry Hutchins found touch and from there, Tom Rolfe stole the lineout and set up Kelsall to dot down. Wilde’s miss was his only blotch on an otherwise perfect kicking day.
HAC had the last laugh when Luke Macklin scored and Crosby converted but there was little doubt who would be laughing longest.
Harpenden’s are at home on Saturday against Chiswick.