Incredible season goes on as Harps keep promotion hopes alive by crushing Woodford
PUBLISHED: 06:39 27 February 2020
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Whatever the outcome of the London One North season one thing is certain – Harpenden have certainly raised eyebrows with some hugely impressive performances.
This 41-5 success at home to Woodford was their seventh win in the last eight outings and keeps them fourth in the table, four points behind second-placed Old Haberdashers in the final promotion spot and with five games to go.
They still have to play old rivals Habs and leaders North Walsham, who will be looking to inflict revenge on Harps for their only defeat of the season so far when the sides meet in Norfolk on Saturday.
But few gave them a chance of still being in the mix at this stage and few would now back against them, especially having seen the seven-try dissection of struggling Woodford.
In fact so good was the effort at Redbourn Lane that the players were disappointed to have spurned several other scoring opportunities and not played the breezy conditions to their fullest.
Skipper Oli Lacey said: "Although it's a good score-line, we were our own worst enemy at times as we made a number of mistakes and should have kicked more in the second half when we had the wind behind us.
"However, we are on a very good run and we can't wait to go to North Walsham.
"We know it will be tough but having beaten them once we firmly believe that we can do so again if we play to our very best."
Flanker Jimmy Speirs opened the scoring for Harps with a try on 10 minutes following a series of pick and drives and six minutes later Ed Preston made it two.
They had to adjust to the loss of hooker Pete Sims on the half hour but they were still able to add a third try just before the break from Will Hague-Blundy after a powerful break from Matt Deane.
Three minutes into the second half Hague-Blundy brought up the try bonus point after another Deane break and two minutes later prop Bash Mahmood crashed over for a fifth try.
Woodford refused to hoist the white flag and were rewarded with a try of their own on 58 minutes when Jake Lechmere-Smith went over following an interception.
But Harps hit back quickly with a wonderful try from flanker Matt Jillians and shortly before the final whistle Preston capped an outstanding individual performance with his second try.