Harpenden pick up vital win
London One North Harpenden 24 Chingford 7 THIS was a tough encounter for Harps against a team that earlier in the season were title contenders and who still maintained a high league position. Confidence was high after a win and a draw from the club s prev
London One North
Harpenden 24 Chingford 7
THIS was a tough encounter for Harps against a team that earlier in the season were title contenders and who still maintained a high league position.
Confidence was high after a win and a draw from the club's previous two league fixtures, and the hosts knew a good start was important. Harps also had the additional pressure of one of their players being filmed for a Sky Sports programme which was scheduled to air yesterday (Wednesday).
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Things went to plan as immediate pressure from the kick off earned Harps a penalty which Jon Barton converted to give them an early 3-0 lead.
The high tempo continued and the hosts were soon rewarded again as some excellent work from the forwards in the lineout allowed Peck to crash over from close range. Jon Barton added the extras.
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The hard work from the pack, in particular from Blake, Dumbleton and Green was complemented by some elusive running and handling in the backs, with Macdonald and Pattison threatening to breach the Chingford defence when in possession.
It was from another continued phase of possession that some good quick rucking allowed Healey to feed Joe Tennant, who in turn supplied Smith with a try scoring opportunity which he gratefully accepted to score out wide. Jon Barton again converted to give them a 17-0 lead.
Chingford however came back strong, and some persistent pressure following a good kick deep into Harpenden territory meant that they were able to take advantage of a misunderstanding by two home players to dive under the posts and reduce the half-time deficit to 17-7.
The second half continued in a similar fashion to the first. With Chingford reduced to 14 men for 10 minutes Harpenden attempted to extend the lead further with some good running from Haddock and Alan Barton, however Chingford were resolute and no extra points were added.
Once back to full strength Chingford began to use their big pack to good effect and slowly worked their way into Harpenden territory however outstanding defence from Ireland, Cross and Dan Tennant kept them at bay.
It was from this defensive pressure that a loose Chingford pass was gathered and kicked upfield for Pattison to chase. Another try looked certain but an unlucky bounce and some excellent covering from the Chingford flanker prevented it.
The hosts were back in opposition territory and constant pressure from the pack allowed Joe Tennant to step through the Chingford backline to dot down under the posts. Jon Barton converted to seal an important win.
Next week Harpenden make the long trip to Bury St. Edmunds where another result is needed.
Harpenden: Cross, D Tennant, Blake, Peck, Dumbleton, Green, A Barton, Ireland, Healey, J Tennant, Pattison, J Barton, Macdonald, Smith, Haddock. Reps: Gifkin, P Collins, J Collins.