Harpenden enjoy deserved win in eight-try success away to Welwyn
PUBLISHED: 14:46 14 January 2019
Two tries each from Tagon Strydom and Adam Wilkinson and eight in total gave Harpenden a deserved 52-13 win away to Welwyn in London Two North West.
The result keeps Harpenden in second place with eyes still firmly fixed on promotion.
However, Welwyn’s early-season promise has just faded and they are now down in sixth after six games without a win.
It started well enough for them at Hobbs Way with Dave Fennell gleefully gobbling up a wayward miss pass and strolling in from half-way.
Chris Kemp added the conversion but the lead didn’t last long at all as Tom Sweeney took advantage from the kick-off to cross in the corner, adding the extras as well.
Kemp put Welwyn back in front with a penalty but Adam Wilkinson restored the visitors’ lead after numerous drives pounded the home line.
It was a lead they would not relinquish again.
Strydom extended the lead with a second unconverted try but Kemp kept Welwyn in touch at 17-13 as the half came to a conclusion.
And that meant the bonus-point score just three minutes from the break gave Harpenden some vital breathing room.
And after the trickery from the backs that brought the three opening tries, it was an old-fashioned bit of forward grunt that brought number four, Michael Goode touching down after a five-metre scrum rumbled across the line and Sweeney adding the conversion.
That try ended the resistance of the hosts who looked shell shocked in the opening 20 minutes of the second half.
Ali Whitaker had already been stopped once but Welwyn couldn’t repeat the trick as the big second row charged through a gap after four minutes and Strydom did exactly the same 10 minutes later, albeit with a bit more pace.
The miss pass finally brought joy for Wilkinson out wide and Sweeney kicked his third conversion of the half to stretch Harpenden’s lead to 45-13.
Welwyn did finish stronger though, making inroads into the Harps’ half but they were eventually breached one final time, the referee awarding a penalty try on the final play.
The league takes a week’s break, returning on January 26 when Harpenden host Hammersmith & Fulham and Welwyn go to Grasshoppers.