Harpenden downed by Hammersmith and Fulham in damp squib

Harpenden v Hammersmith & Fulham

Harpenden v Hammersmith & Fulham - Credit: Archant

Harpenden picked up a losing bonus point but know they need to improve following this damp squib against Hammersmith and Fulham.

With the two sides lying fifth and sixth, fireworks were expected. But on a wet and windy day at Redbourn Lane, neither side could produce enough quality rugby.

In the end a solitary penalty try was enough to seperate the sides, the visitors taking a 10-3 win.

The Hammers had started strongly. A break by James Gallo caught the Harpenden defence by surprise, eventually leading to them being penalised.

Gallo stepped up to give Hammersmith an early lead.

With the wind slightly in their favour, Harpenden played the elements for a while in a sensible manner but occasionaly wasted their chances.

Ed Preston had several good takes at the back of the line only to see that possession carelessly kicked away.

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There were moments to savour for the home fans, captain Michael Goode impressively stealing the Hammers ball before charging 40 metres up the pitch.

But these were rare instances and after 30 minutes the referee decided Harpenden had deliberately collapsed a maul eight metres out and awarded the try.

Gallo’s simple conversion gave the visitors a 10-0 half-time lead.

Injuries in the first period had forced Harpenden into a number of changes.

Ollie Brown came off with a dead-leg and was replaced by youngster, Fred Gulliford, who went to full-back while Nic Childs also departed with a head injury.

In the second half the home side’s forwards toiled away but their rhythm deserted them.

Hammers managed to disrupt the line-out fairly successfully so what ball the backs received was highly prized.

Further substitutions of Sean McLoughlin and Tom Sanders with the youthful prop George Rolfe and the promising Rowell Gordon were made but the only reward was a penalty a few minutes from time, taken by the ever-dependable Tom Sweeney.

Next up for Harpenden is a trip to Enfield Ignatians tomorrow (Saturday).