GALLERY: Harps drop points as cutting edge deserts them
- Credit: Archant
Harpenden’s lack of killer instinct forced them to share the spoils in the battle between London 2NW’s second and third-placed teams.
Although they dominated much of the opening half, they failed to turn abundant possession and territory into points and in the end they were forced to come from behind to snatch a 14-14 draw against a resilient Chiswick.
Downcast Harps skipper Adam Wheatley said: “We’ve come off the pitch feeling disappointed because we know we would have won if we had turned up. That’s the difference between this season and last season: this season we go into each game thinking that we are going to win. However, today we were not just clinical enough when we were on top and it has cost us points. We’ve got to put this right before we go to St Albans in two weeks’ time.”
Harps began the game at a gallop and, with the scrum totally dominant, they spent much of the opening 25 minutes camped deep inside the Londoners’ 22. But, thanks in no small part to some great defence by Chiswick, they just could not score and the game remained pointless at half-time.
Having weathered the storm, Chiswick began the second half on the attack and on 44 minutes they were rewarded with a try when lock Mike Fatsis was driven over the line following a line-out on Harps’ five-metre line. Stand-off Simon Hallett kicked the conversion.
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Harps reduced the deficit shortly afterwards with an Aaron Wilde penalty, but on 55 minutes Chiswick stretched their lead with a try by replacement prop Jan Joubert, which Hallett converted to take the score to 14-3.
Three minutes later Harps right-wing Tom Muskett got his side back into the game with a great try in the corner following a trademark break. Two successful penalty kicks by Wilde, on 67 minutes and 71 minutes, brought the scores level.
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But try as they might, Harps just could not conjure up a winning score and, with just minutes left on the clock, they were let off the hook when Chiswick chose to spurn what looked, certainly to many spectators, a decent penalty conversion opportunity by kicking to touch instead.
Harpenden: McClean, Smith, Childs, Wilde, Muskett, Collins, Wilkinson, McLoughlin, Sims, Lacey, Rolfe, Preston, Goode, Kelsall, Wheatley (captain). Replacements: Daly, Pegler, Reynolds.