Much more like it for Harpenden as this time they claim a win by two points

PUBLISHED: 06:13 21 January 2020

Matt Deane got one of the two Harpenden tries against Shelford. Picture: DANNY LOO

Matt Deane got one of the two Harpenden tries against Shelford. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2019 Danny Loo Photography - all rights reserved

Harpenden refound their winning groove with a 17-15 success away to Shelford.

Seven days earlier they should have beaten Sudbury before giving away a try at the very end to lose by two points.

History looking liked it would repeat itself but a Shelford penalty in the final minutes bounced back off the posts and they held on to win by two points.

The victory, a double success over the Cambridgeshire club, keeps Harps seventh in London One North.

The first 15 minutes proved difficult for the visitors to The Davey Field with the referee awarding a series of penalties against them allowing Shelford to exert a lot of pressure.

The hosts had two shots at goal during this period with only the second finding its mark for a 3-0 lead.

But on one of their first visits to the opposition half, Harps were awarded a penalty themselves that they opted to put into touch.

From there a driving maul from the line-out took them across the whitewash and open-side flanker Matt Jillians touched down.

Unfortunately right-wing Matt Deane, deputising for regular kicker Tom Sweeney, was unable to add the two points.

Shortly afterwards Harps were reduced to 14 men when Ben Campion was yellow carded for an offence at the breakdown. It was not a particularly serious incident but came after the penalty count against the visitors got too high for the match official.

And Shelford duly took advantage, running in a try to the left of the posts but failed to convert.

Having been restored to 15 men, centre Bobby Tane made a great break only to be hauled down just short of the line.

However, the ball was recycled and quickly moved along the backline for Deane to go over in the corner. He converted his own try to give Harps an 12-8 lead.

The contest continued to ebb and flow until Shelford had one of their props yellow carded and this time it was Harpenden's turn to take advantage.

It was a familiar looking score too, a penalty kicked to the corner that was then mauled over the line, Tom Rolfe claiming the try this time.

Shelford score a converted try of their own through Owen Miller but thanks to the wayward final kick, the final whistle was greeted with relief by Harpenden.

They travel to Amersham & Chiltern on Saturday.

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