Harpenden left to rue missed chances as they lose at home to Colchester

Matt Deane kicked three points in Harpenden's loss at home to Colchester. Picture: DANNY LOO

Matt Deane kicked three points in Harpenden's loss at home to Colchester. Picture: DANNY LOO - Credit: DANNY LOO

Missed chances proved crucial for Harpenden as they fell to a late 19-11 home defeat against Colchester.

Despite conceding an early try, they fought back well and led with 15 minutes to go against the Essex side who finished last season as London One North runners-up.

But they were unable to convert possession and territory into further points and went down to two late tries by the visitors.

Skipper Oli Lacey said: "We were in control of the game and should have gone on to win. However, they took their chances and we didn't."

A converted score put the visitors to Redbourn Lane ahead but Harpenden fought back and a Will Hague-Blundy try on 14 minutes and penalties from Tom Stagg and Matt Deane put them 11-7 in front at half-time.

But after a close and hard-fought battle in the second half Colchester retook the lead on 65 minutes and wrapped it up with five minutes to go to deprive the hosts of a losing bonus point.