Harpenden up to third place with bonus-point win over Hammersmith & Fulham

Adam Wilkinson scored one of the tries in Harpenden's win at Hammersmith & Fulham.
Picture: Karyn

Adam Wilkinson scored one of the tries in Harpenden's win at Hammersmith & Fulham. Picture: Karyn Haddon - Credit: Archant

Harpenden put the misery of their defeat to Welwyn firmly behind them with a comfortable 36-10 bonus-point win at Hammersmith and Fulham.

It lifted them into third place in the London North West Two, just two points behind their conquerors from seven days earlier but with a game in hand.

And it was a deserved success on a wet and miserable afternoon at Hurlingham Park, a day that was always more suited to the forwards rather than the backs.

Harpenden’s stronger pack proved decisive and they set-up Tom Sweeney, back from injury, for the first try on 10 minutes which he duly converted.

The Hammers got on the scoreboard shortly afterwards with a penalty kick.

However, the Harps’ pack kept controlling the scrums and after driving the hosts back to their five-metre line, they won another penalty.

It was an easy decision to have another scrum, which was marching towards the goal line when Hammers collapsed it, resulting in a penalty try.

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Despite the frustration which Hammers must have felt at being unable to defend their line, they rallied and the remainder of the first half was more even.

And the teams ended up trading converted tries before the break, Adam Wilkinson going over for Harps which Sweeney converted for a 21-10 lead.

The conditions got worse in the second half, making things difficult for both teams with the ball slipping away from players frequently and neither side able to put together a decisive move.

But in the final quarter the Harps pack were dominant again, this time from the line-outs where Tom Rolfe was very effective.

From one such platform Harps created two powerful rolling mauls, both of which led to tries.

The first from Michael Goode was converted by Sweeney but he wasn’t as lucky after Jack Murphy went over, hitting the post and seeing the ball bounce out.

He did land a final penalty on the stroke of full-time to complete the win with Harpenden’s head coach Matt Davies being particularly pleased that his team had prevented the opposition from adding to their score in the second half.

It’s a week off now for the Redbourn Lane-based side with the next game a home encounter with Enfield Ignatians on October 20.