Harpenden hop back up the table with bonus-point win

PUBLISHED: 11:22 06 December 2018 | UPDATED: 11:23 06 December 2018

Harpenden V Grasshoppers - Tom Sweeney in action for Harpenden.


Picture: Karyn Haddon

Harpenden V Grasshoppers - Tom Sweeney in action for Harpenden. Picture: Karyn Haddon

Archant

A bonus-point win at home to Grasshoppers moved Harpenden back into the top three at the top of London Two North West.

Harpenden V Grasshoppers - Tom Sweeney in action for Harpenden.


Picture: Karyn HaddonHarpenden V Grasshoppers - Tom Sweeney in action for Harpenden. Picture: Karyn Haddon

But although they were ahead for most of the game, the west Londoners belied their lowly league position by repeatedly coming back at them and it was only after Harps scored their fourth try with 10 minutes to go that the 32-27 victory was virtually assured.

Harpenden V Grasshoppers - Adam Wheatley in action for Harpenden.


Picture: Karyn HaddonHarpenden V Grasshoppers - Adam Wheatley in action for Harpenden. Picture: Karyn Haddon

Skipper Oli Lacey said: “We played well for large parts of the game and we’re delighted with the win, although we are a little disappointed to have conceded so many points.”

Harpenden V Grasshoppers - Joe Onyuma in action for Harpenden.


Picture: Karyn HaddonHarpenden V Grasshoppers - Joe Onyuma in action for Harpenden. Picture: Karyn Haddon

Playing in a special jersey to support Stonewall UK’s Rainbow Laces campaign, Harps went on the attack from the outset and were quickly rewarded when tight-head prop Ben Campion went over for a try after just four minutes.

Harpenden V Grasshoppers - Adam Wheatley in action for Harpenden.


Picture: Karyn HaddonHarpenden V Grasshoppers - Adam Wheatley in action for Harpenden. Picture: Karyn Haddon

The Londoners hit back with a try of their own from centre Sean Connor on eight minutes before Harps stand-off Tom Sweeney kicked two long-range penalties to give them an 11-7 lead.

Harpenden V Grasshoppers .


Picture: Karyn HaddonHarpenden V Grasshoppers . Picture: Karyn Haddon

Thanks to the pack scrummaging and mauling well, the Harpenden backs were getting plenty of good ball.

Harpenden V Grasshoppers - Henry Parrott in action for Harpenden.


Picture: Karyn HaddonHarpenden V Grasshoppers - Henry Parrott in action for Harpenden. Picture: Karyn Haddon

And with centres Nick Childs and Tagen Strydom running hard and straight, plus powerful right wing Joe Onyuma catching the eye on his home debut, it was no surprise when Adam Wilkinson touched down on 30 minutes.

Harpenden V Grasshoppers - Joe Onyuma in action for Harpenden.


Picture: Karyn HaddonHarpenden V Grasshoppers - Joe Onyuma in action for Harpenden. Picture: Karyn Haddon

Sweeney added the extra points.

Harpenden V Grasshoppers - Tom Sanders in action for Harpenden.


Picture: Karyn HaddonHarpenden V Grasshoppers - Tom Sanders in action for Harpenden. Picture: Karyn Haddon

Poor defence allowed Grasshoppers to reduce the deficit with a try from Jack Jones on 35 minutes but the hosts ended the half back in command when they awarded them a penalty try just before the break.

Harpenden V Grasshoppers - Billy Such in action for Harpenden.


Picture: Karyn HaddonHarpenden V Grasshoppers - Billy Such in action for Harpenden. Picture: Karyn Haddon

A positive start to the second period from the home side looked like giving Harps a comfortable success but they were left to rue a series of missed opportunities when Connor scored his second try for the visitors on 56 minutes.

Harpenden V Grasshoppers - Tom Sweeney in action for Harpenden.


Picture: Karyn HaddonHarpenden V Grasshoppers - Tom Sweeney in action for Harpenden. Picture: Karyn Haddon

And when Grasshoppers landed a penalty three minutes later, Harpenden’s lead was just five points.

Harpenden V Grasshoppers - Billy Such in action for Harpenden.


Picture: Karyn HaddonHarpenden V Grasshoppers - Billy Such in action for Harpenden. Picture: Karyn Haddon

The scores jolted the hosts back to life and with 10 minutes to go a second penalty try brought the bonus point and eased the nerves.

Harpenden V Grasshoppers - Tom Sweeney in action for Harpenden.


Picture: Karyn HaddonHarpenden V Grasshoppers - Tom Sweeney in action for Harpenden. Picture: Karyn Haddon

And the only further score came on the very last play when Connor got his third try, and his side’s fourth, to clinch two bonus points of their own.

Harpenden V Grasshoppers - Tom Sanders in action for Harpenden.


Picture: Karyn HaddonHarpenden V Grasshoppers - Tom Sanders in action for Harpenden. Picture: Karyn Haddon

The success moves them ahead of Welwyn and facing a trip to Hackney on Saturday.

More news stories

14:15

Village shoppers will be rewarded for staying local as part of a new loyalty scheme.

A new healthcare facility has been opened at St Albans City Hospital by the district mayor Rosemary Farmer.

12:39

Officers from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Road Policing Unit (BCH RPU) now have the power to seize vehicles that have been untaxed for longer than eight weeks.

Debates on Brexit, temporary accommodation and fossil fuels were cancelled at a meeting of St Albans council last week.

Most read stories

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Image
Read the The Herts Advertiser e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Herts Advertiser weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy