Harpenden edge Tabard for derby bragging rights

Wilfred Lake in action for Tabard. Picture: KARYN HADDON

Wilfred Lake in action for Tabard. Picture: KARYN HADDON - Credit: Archant

Harpenden Rugby Club took the bragging rights with a 19-7 win over Tabard in London North West Two at Cobden Hill.

It moves Harpenden into sixth at the halfway stage of the season while Tabard lie two places above relegation in ninth. However, it remains tight with just six points separating seven teams

Harps had the upper hand in the early going and by half-time had raced into a 19-0 lead.

Yet despite the good start, it took 25 minutes for the breakthrough. Ash Smith made a great dash before feeding full-back Luke Barber who raced in to touch down under the posts. Tom Sweeney added the conversion.

Ten minutes later stand-off Ollie Mann picked out a great line to also score under the posts, with Sweeney again adding the extra points.

And with the final play of the first half Sweeney went over for a try in the right corner after racing onto a precision cross-field kick by Mann.

Tabard though didn’t give up and pressurised the visitors’ line in the second period.

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The wet conditions, which seemed to get gloomier and murkier as the afternoon wore on, were not ideal for handling and their only score came from a short range burst by Jack Reilly who added the conversion with 20 minutes remaining.

The game finished with Tabard camped in the visitors 22 trying to secure a losing bonus point.

And their frantic attacks came close, only to be turned away by desperate Harps defence.

Harpenden skipper Oli Lacey said: “We’re delighted with the win although a little disappointed that we could secure a bonus point. We just lacked that cutting edge in the second half.

“We knew it would be a battle today and, as expected, Tabard were really physical, particularly in the second half, but we were able to match them.”