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