Harpenden RFC are new county sevens champs

Harpenden RFC's Herts County 7s champions.

Harpenden RFC's Herts County 7s champions. - Credit: Archant

HARPENDEN RFC are the new Herts County Sevens champions following a narrow win over Letchworth Garden City in the final.

Held at Letchworth RFC on Sunday, Harpenden beat Fullerians 2nds, Welwyn, Bishop’s Stortford and Royston before overcoming the host club 19-10 in an exciting finish.

The result was a reflection of the contributions by all members of Harpenden’s squad who found reaching the final stages of this event to be a relative formality with comfortable wins in their qualifying matches.

Harpenden deserved their victory for throughout the day they played entertaining rugby, using a combination of purposeful forwards with a devastating backline to create havoc against their opposition.

In the quarter-final, Harpenden managed to score 49 points against Fullerians’ first team, who managed a single converted try. In the semi-final, Harpenden met a well-drilled and physical Letchworth 2nd team, and they overcame the test with a comfortable 29-10 win.

In the final, the defending champions, Letchworth, were odds-on favourite to win a fourth consecutive title. Their team, managed by Samurai Sevens player James Tyrell, started much the stronger, using their strength and nous to take a 10-0 lead into the half-time break.

Refusing to panic, Harpenden came roaring back with tries from Green and Gulliford, one of which was converted, to give the visitors a 12-10 lead. With only seconds remaining, Letchworth pushed for the score that would bring them victory but, in a typical sevens-esque passage of play, Ferre broke through some tired tackles to create a score for Cooper-Wall. The conversion sailed through – Tristan Francis’ second – and Harpenden had won, disappointing the home-crowd.

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Squad: Chris Wilkinson (c), Adam Wilkinson, Jackson Cooper-Wall, Jack Cornthwaite, Aaron Wilde, Fred Gulliford, Pierre Ferre, Jannnick Green, Billy Sach, Ashley Smith, Sam Rickety, Tristan Francis. Coach: Simon Payne. Assistant coach: Nick Childs.