Mistakes cost Harpenden in loss

Harpenden start an attack.

Harpenden start an attack. - Credit: Archant

A series of bad mistakes on Saturday, coupled with the award of a number of penalties against them, cost Harpenden dear on Saturday when they were beaten by Hammersmith and Fulham.

Ed Preston was Billy's Bar man of the match.

Ed Preston was Billy's Bar man of the match. - Credit: Archant

The fact that Harpenden conceded several penalties, five of which were converted by Hammersmith’s fullback, Simon Gregory, caused frustration all round in the Harpenden camp but, ultimately, the better of two average sides won.

Having missed two penalties within the first five minutes, Harpenden found themselves on the defensive as full back Gregory scored with the first of his precision kicks.

Throughout the afternoon, apart from one mistake, he made due allowance for the gusty wind that was causing havoc in the Harpenden ranks. Not only did they often miscalculate with their kicks to touch, but also when passing to their colleagues, the target was often missed.

By the half hour Harpenden were six points adrift; they partly atoned when Simon McGee and Mike Goode helped one another from five metres out to go over and score a try.

Goode deserved his score for his persistence and, together with the rest of the forwards, gave his team some leeway to have a chance of fighting back. Unfortunately, the referee’s whistle was never far away from the action, in particular whenever the ball went on the floor following a tackle.

By the time the first-half came to an end, Hammersmith had scored with another penalty kick and about 20 minutes into the second half went ahead by seven more after a try by Joel Radrich that Gregory converted.

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Adam Stirling with a good interception and brilliant 50-metre run through the middle gave the home supporters a boost with the promise of a comeback. Yannick Green’s kick meant that the margin between the two sides was now only four points.

But a try from Hammersmith’s Gaelio put a stop to that, then two more penalties from Gregory’s boot caused further embarrassment to the Harpenden squad.

Billy’s Man of the Match was lock Ed Preston. The next league match is against Old Priorians on Saturday.