Sevenoaks stand between Harpenden U17s and National Cup final four

Harpenden RFC's U17 side at Allianz Park.

Harpenden RFC's U17 side at Allianz Park. - Credit: Archant

One game stands between Harpenden RFC’s U17 side and a place in the semi-finals of the National Cup.

To book a place in the final four of the national competition, Harpenden will have to beat Sevenoaks at Medway RFC on Sunday, April 6, which is the final of the south east of England Cup.

The Redbourn Lane based side earned the tie against Sevenoaks after beating Upminster – a side they hadn’t beaten in competition since U8 tag rugby – in Essex.

From a lineout straight from the kick-off, Harpenden conceded an early try that was not converted. It took 15 minutes for Harps to get their reward and level the scores when scrum half Dom Stevens collected the ball from the back of a ruck and danced around the melee of players to cross the line. Tim Bitirim wasted no time in successfully converting the try.

A period of intense rugby followed with no let up in the physicality. Before the break, Harpenden witnessed captain, Frazer Pegler, burst through the ranks of the Upminster defence to increase the Harpenden lead.

A successful penalty kick from the home side just before the half-time whistle meant Harpenden led 12-8 heading into the second period.

The second half was as fast and furious as the first but the visitors produced the move of the game to effectively seal the tie. A ball won by the Harps’ forwards was picked up by the scrum half and passed swiftly through the hands of both centres and out to the wing and back again. Eventually it fell to Chris Cullen to put the ball over the goal line between the posts. Another, second, conversion by Bitirim gave Harpenden their victory.