Gallery: Harpenden knocked out of Tankard

Smith and Harcourt can't stop McLean from touching down

Smith and Harcourt can't stop McLean from touching down - Credit: Archant

Harpenden are out of the Herts Presidents’ Tankard after losing to lower league Welwyn.

After dispatching St Albans in the qualifying round, Harpenden were thoroughly beaten by their London 3 NW opposition.

Within eight minutes Welwyn had scored two converted tries to put Harpenden on the back foot.

Conor McLean, who is one of the two members of Harpenden’s U18 squad, the other being Harry Hutchins, gave the home team’s supporters hope when he was awarded a try that Tris Francis converted.

For the remainder of the game, both Hutchins and McLean performed well. Welwyn’s third try came on 24 mins but was matched with another try from McLean three minutes later.

Welwyn soon got out of third gear and just before half-time got their reward with a fourth. The try was converted and the away team were leading at half-time 26-12.

After the break both teams showed a clean pair of heels with a try apiece that were converted, Harpenden’s try being scored by Adam Stirling and converted by Aaron Wilde.

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At this stage the game deteriorated so far as Harpenden was concerned, much to the disappointment of their coach. First hooker Pete Simms got sinbinned, which led to uncontested scrums, and then the referee sent another Harpenden player off the field, reducing the home team during the following 10 minutes to 13 players.

Welwyn took advantage of Harpenden’s carelessness and scored two more tries, the second being converted. Francis and then Dave Green, with the last play, added 10 points to make the score a bit more respectable, but in the end Harpenden were well beaten by a highly motivated Welwyn.