Harpenden back on the winning trail with Welwyn domination

Tom Sanders is congratulated after opening the scoring. Picture: KEVIN LINES

Tom Sanders is congratulated after opening the scoring. Picture: KEVIN LINES - Credit: Archant

Harpenden got back to winning ways with a six-try victory over Welwyn in London North West Two.

It was the Redbourn Lane-based rugby club’s first success after five straight defeats and was a much needed shot in the arm against a Welwyn side who also went into the game at the wrong end of the table.

The bonus-point win lifts Harpenden above Tabard into eighth and it was built on a solid foundation supplied by the forwards.

They dominated their Welwyn counterparts in both scrums and mauls and accounted for all three of Harpenden’s tries in the first half.

The first was scored by Tom Sanders as the forwards rumbled over the line while it was Fred Gulliford who got the final touch down for try number two.

A catch and drive and subsequent driving maul should have brought the third as well right on half-time but Harpenden decided to ship it out to the backs when they were five metres short, Rammon Thompson finding the gap to score.

Tom Sweeney converted two of them and added a penalty but tries from Harry Gillespie and Rory Harcourt, the second of which had actually put the visitors in front, kept the score to 22-12 at the break.

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The problem was in conceding Thompson’s try, the Welwyn forwards had earned the displeasure of the referee and Ashley Maxwell took a yellow card.

And that numerical disadvantage cost Welwyn any chance they had of coming back into the game.

Harpenden were ruthless and a second for Thompson was followed by one for fellow winger Adam Wilkinson.

Sweeney, who had converted one, then was the scorer of the sixth late on.

To their credit Welwyn kept fighting and a second for Gillespie brought them within range of a bonus point, which was secured with the last play by Sloane.

Harpenden’s next game is in two weeks time when they travel to Honourable Artilery Company.