Hertfordshire hit form to defeat Cornwall
OLD Albanian RFC trio Richard Gregg, Mark Evans and Adam Gelman helped inspire Hertfordshire to a stunning win against Cornwall on Saturday. The match was played at Hoe Lane, Hertford RFC
RFU County Championship Shield
Hertfordshire 31 Cornwall 26
OLD Albanian RFC trio Richard Gregg, Mark Evans and Adam Gelman helped inspire Hertfordshire to a stunning win against Cornwall on Saturday.
The match was played at Hoe Lane, Hertford RFC and Herts lined up with Gregg and Evans starting alongside Tabard star Ryan Long and Harpenden player Robert Dumbleton. Gelman featured as a replacement as did Tabard player Richard Woodard.
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Hertfordshire's pack laid the basis for victory with outstanding performances in the scrums, and in the loose where the Herts back row operated as a superb unit. The performance behind the scrum was unrecognisable from the defeat to Eastern Counties in the previous match.
Cornwall took the lead with an early try but Herts battled back and after Gregg kicked a penalty to the Cornish 22, Ryan de la Harpe went over for a try.
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The match fluctuated as both teams attacked and Cornwell went over for an unconverted score before Herts hit back and took control. A line out win against the throw allowed skipper Dave Archer to score and Gregg converted. Archer then added a second try and Gregg again kicked the extras for a 19-12 lead.
Gregg converted a penalty in the second half before Cornwall struck with a try to reduce the deficit to just three points.
Although the Cornwall backs continued to look dangerous, solid defence kept them at bay and when Herts were awarded free kick from a scrum just inside the away half, they tapped and drove and Cornwall conceded a penalty, which Gregg converted into points.
The reliable Gregg added two more penalties either side of another try from Cornwall. The heat induced stoppages meant Herts had to battle through 10 gruelling minutes of injury time.
With a four point lead the home side were by no means safe but as the clock ticked on Cornwall needed a try. Twice they kicked penalties for line outs in the corner and twice the Herts defence held. Herts got a relieving penalty, then a final Cornish attack broke down with a knock on. The home defence proved strong enough and the final whistle arrived to give Herts a 31-19 victory and brought relief to the exhausted players and home supporters.
Hertfordshire can now look forward, with some confidence to their home match against Oxfordshire next Saturday at Old Albanian RFC, with a 3pm kick off.
Hertfordshire: Kieron Davies (Ampthill), Ian Crompton (Stevenage Town), Jon Child (Welwyn), Ray Adde (Hemel Hempstead), Mark Evans (Old Albanian), Richard Gregg (Old Albanian), Ryan de la Harpe (Letchworth), Ryan Long (Tabard), Tavita Faamausili (Stevenage Town), Simon Carter (Newbury), Adam Amos (Stevenage Town), Robert Dumbleton (Harpenden), Chris Rainbow (Newbury), Ian Hardcastle (Westcombe Park), Dave Archer (Henley Hawks).
Replacements used: Richard Woodard (Tabard), Paul Welch (Hertford), Adam Gelman (Old Albanian), Matt Cross (Loughborough), Jim Remfry (Caldy), Billy Johnson (Hertford), Alfie Church (Hertford).