Harpenden have to make do with a bonus point in disappointing loss to Brentwood
PUBLISHED: 10:48 16 December 2019 | UPDATED: 10:48 16 December 2019
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A bonus point on their travels to Brentwood was a crumb of comfort on a disappointing day for Harpenden.
It needed a try in the closing stages from Michael Goode to gather it though in the 17-13 London One North loss, a result which drops Harps down to seventh in the table.
Tom Sweeney had converted that score to go with his two penalties earlier in the game.
They had given Harpenden a 6-0 lead at half-time but the hosts took advantage of the wind in the second half to clinch the victory.
Skipper Oli Lacey said: "It was a tough game and we are disappointed not to come away with a win, It was a game decided by fine margins and ultimately we made too many mistakes in the second half.
"We're still happy to get the bonus point though and will push on to Eton Manor at home on Saturday."
The home side had the best of the initial exchanges but Sweeney put Harpenden on the board first with a long-range penalty.
Play ebbed and flowed after that until another successful Sweeney kick on 30 minutes, awarded for an infringement on Harpenden scrum-half Will Hales.
But with the conditions now in the hosts' favour, the second half saw Brentwood force Harpenden onto the defensive.
They got their first points of the afternoon with a kick and a decision to spurn another shot at goal at another penalty proved the right call.
This time the kick went to the corner and the line-out was driven over the line for a 10-6 lead.
The line-out proved to be a strong weapon in Brentwood's arsenal and they used a quick throw to extend their lead further, breaking down the right before switching the play to the left wing where the overlap waited.
However, with time running down, Harps winger Max Baggio made a break down the right and although he was brought down, Brentwood were penalised for failing to release, the offender seeing yellow and reducing the home side to 14 men.
Harpenden needed a try so they went for a scrum, Goode using his nous to break off the back and score.
Sweeney converted but Harpenden could not conjure up another chance to grab the win.
Harpenden: Sweeney, Baggio, Speirs, McClean, Hague-Blundy; Simcott, Hales; McLoughlin, McSporran, Staff, Preston, Lacey, Goode, Jillians, Wheatley. Replacements: Campion, Deane, Tane.