Tom Sweeney stars as Harpenden extend impressive home form against Old Haberdashers

Tom Sweeney was in imperious form with the boot as well as adding one of the four Harpenden tries ag

Tom Sweeney was in imperious form with the boot as well as adding one of the four Harpenden tries against Old Haberdashers. Picture: KARYN HADDON - Credit: Archant

Harpenden bounced back from defeat at Chingford to secure a bonus-point 34-24 win at home to Old Haberdashers.

The win, the seventh of the season and the sixth from seven games at Redbourn Lane, came after a thrilling contest and moves them up to sixth in London One North.

Skipper Oli Lacey said: "This was a fantastic game of rugby and we are delighted to come away with a bonus-point win against a very good side.

"We executed what we had set to do which was to target the set pieces."

As might have been expected in a game between two teams separated by only a handful of points at the start of play, there was little to choose between them for much of the first 40 minutes and it was only in the second half that Harps began to assert their authority.

After a difficult opening spell in which their normally reliable scrum came under pressure, Harps regrouped and went ahead on seven minutes with a penalty from full-back Tom Sweeney.

However, within four minutes Habs had taken the lead with a try from Jonny Gatus converted by Ian McGhee.

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Harps regained the lead on 20 minutes when Sweeney darted through the defence to touch down for a try under the posts that he converted.

But seven minutes later Old Habs were able to work to ball wide to Charlie Johnson who went over for a try in the corner.

With the Harps scrum boosted by the power of giant replacement prop Sam Staff, they regained the initiative and it was Staff who rumbled over for a try on 30 minutes, converted by Sweeney who then kicked another penalty five minutes later to leave Harpenden 20-12 ahead at the break.

The hosts took control of the game early in the second half and after a powerful rolling maul Gus McSporran powered over for their third try on 51 minutes, converted yet again by the ever reliable Sweeney.

The 15-point lead was soon all but halved by a converted try from Conor Michaels with 15 minutes to go but any hope of a comeback was snuffed out 10 minutes later when Conor McClean swept through for their fourth try.

The final score belonged to the visitors but Harpenden will head to their final game of 2019 at Brentwood on Saturday full of confidence.