Harpenden stay on track
London Three North West Harpenden 51 Twickenham 0 Following two disappointing defeats, Harpenden answered their critics and promptly piled on the points against a muted Twickenham side. There was to be no doubt as to the outcome of this game, as a purpl
London Three North West
Harpenden 51 Twickenham 0
Following two disappointing defeats, Harpenden answered their critics and promptly piled on the points against a muted Twickenham side.
There was to be no doubt as to the outcome of this game, as a purple patch of three well taken tries in seven second-half minutes saw the league leaders extend their lead in London North West Three to two points.
The scoring was opened by a well-struck penalty by full-back Alan Barton which came as a result of astonishing pressure by the rumbling and belligerent Harpenden pack, which rumbled their way towards the Twickenham line in pursuit of an early score.
With Harpenden dominating the opening exchanges and the possession, it was only a matter of time before they would create daylight between the sides in front of an expectant crowd. Twickenham's kicker forced the Harpenden back three into action with a series of deep, probing kicks which not only tested them but also the Harpenden lineout, which was functioning particularly well. With Harpenden re-establishing their dominance after Twickenham had narrowly missed a penalty chance, chances became abundant.
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A quick tap-penalty by scrum half MacDonald released captain Joe Tennant for a lung-busting break for the line, only to be hauled down just inches from the line, however, Speirs was on hand to finish the move under the posts for Barton to convert. From the kick off Harpenden roared back into top gear with some tough running from Hoare and Arrowsmith, allowing the backs to play on the front-foot. A cut pass from fly-half Tennant saw Kearns break down the narrow side to feed Rob Humphrey for an excellent team score which began deep in the Harpenden half. Only four minutes later and with the away side barely able to take breath, MacDonald chipped ahead and off-loaded to the fleet-footed Peck who was tackled. From the ensuing ruck Speirs broke the shackles of his marker to crash past his man and given a wonderfully weighted pass to Kearns who rounded the full back and touched down under the posts to the joy of the crowd to give Harpenden a 22-0 lead at the break.
The ruthless attitude shown by the home side was keenly taken into the second half as the pack once again produced solid first phase ball. Dan Tennant had an industrious day in the lineout and scrum, getting the better of his opposite man, as Richard Bunn and Matt Peck toiled hard to ensure the scrums remained unyielding. This, combined with exceptionally quick phase play from the loose forward trio of Arrowsmith, Read and Cornthwaite ensured Harpenden's backs were able to attack with depth and width.
Such possession resulted in Humphrey making a powerful break as he seared towards the line for his second try of the day. A try followed swiftly from Muskett as he stepped and bound his way over in the corner and MacDonald added further misery to the travellers as he scored an opportunistic breakaway try.
A further 14 points came from a neatly taken try from Barton and, following another break from Joe Tennant, Read was able to gallop over the line.
With only three games remaining Harpenden continue their push for promotion next week against a traditionally determined Hammersmith & Fulham side, before returning to Redbourn Lane for their final home game of the season the following Saturday.
Harpenden: Bunn, D.Tennant, M.Peck, W.Peck, Hoare, Cornthwaite, Read, Arrowsmith, Macdonald, J.Tennant, Kearns, Humphrey, Speirs, Muskett, Barton; Collins, Singleton, Homan.
l Harpenden's second team have had an outstanding season, finishing second in the Herts/Middlesex Merit Table One, following their 27-12 win at Barnet last weekend. This is the highest placing the Harpenden second team has achieved in the Merit Table system.