Late tries snatch victory away from Hertfordshire in Bill Beaumont County Championship

Lancashire's Chris Mayor gets away from Hertfordshire's Louis Castiglione. Picture: ANDREW MATTHEWS/

Lancashire's Chris Mayor gets away from Hertfordshire's Louis Castiglione. Picture: ANDREW MATTHEWS/PA - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Two late converted tries saw victory snatched away from Hertfordshire in the final of the Bill Beaumont County Championship at Twickenham, writes Neil Metcalfe.

Elliott Byfield scored two tries for Hertfordshire. Picture: PAUL HARDING/PA

Elliott Byfield scored two tries for Hertfordshire. Picture: PAUL HARDING/PA - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

They led by a point with just 10 minutes to go but then Lancashire found a way through the green defence thanks to Anthony Bingham.

A yellow card with five minutes to go ended Herts’ hopes and the subsequent penalty and further converted score from Steve Collins gave the north-west side a 32-16 win.

Lancashire's Phil Mills (third right) battles through the Hertfordshire defence during the Bill Beau

Lancashire's Phil Mills (third right) battles through the Hertfordshire defence during the Bill Beaumont Division One Cup Final match at Twickenham Stadium, London. Picture: ANDREW MATTHEWS/PA - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Hertfordshire started with Harpenden’s Luke Barber and Old Albanian pair Dan Watt and Chris West while there was a substitute appearance for Oli Walliker, also from the Woollams club.

There was little between the sides throughout and Hertfordshire, who can be proud of their performance, led twice in the first half thanks to a Sean Taylor penalty and Elliott Bayfield’s try.

Lancashire's Chris Johnson and Hertfordshire's Nick Stevens during the Bill Beaumont Division One Cu

Lancashire's Chris Johnson and Hertfordshire's Nick Stevens during the Bill Beaumont Division One Cup Final match at Twickenham Stadium, London. Picture: PAUL HARDING/PA - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images


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That try was a stunning effort, Watt releasing the backs with great lines of running from James Rea among others, but it was the introduction of full-back Taylor into the line that gave Bayfield the chance to hand off two tacklers and score in the corner.

They still trailed 12-8 at the half-time break as a drop goal and three penalties, all from Sale FC’s Chris Johnson, but a strong start to the second half saw Tring’s Bayfield go over again for his second try.

Lancashire's Phil Mills (second left) is tackled by Hertfordshire's Sean Taylor (right) and James Re

Lancashire's Phil Mills (second left) is tackled by Hertfordshire's Sean Taylor (right) and James Rea during the Bill Beaumont Division One Cup Final match at Twickenham Stadium, London. Picture: ANDREW MATTHEWS/PA - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

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This one involved a high kick which put the Lancashire full-back under pressure and from the tackle Bayfield touched down again.

An exchange of penalties between Johnson and Taylor maintained the Herts one-point lead as the game move towards those fateful last 10 minutes.

General View of a lineout during the Bill Beaumont Division One Cup Final match at Twickenham Stadiu

General View of a lineout during the Bill Beaumont Division One Cup Final match at Twickenham Stadium, London. Picture: PAUL HARDING/PA - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

The crucial score came when Herts lost possession while attacking and Lancashire countered, giving Bingham enough space to score out wide.

Johnson converted and added another penalty after an infringement at the breakdown.

Collins went over on the stroke of full-time to give the score a lop-sided feel.

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