Sweeney’s boot keeps Harpenden sitting pretty with promotion still a possibility

Harpenden's chances of promotion slipped after defeat to Fullerians. Picture: MELISSA PAGE

Harpenden's chances of promotion slipped after defeat to Fullerians. Picture: MELISSA PAGE - Credit: Archant

Harpenden Rugby Club finished 2015 with a 29-23 success at home to Woodford – a result which lifts them into fifth place in the London North West Division Two table.

Five penalties from the boot of Tom Sweeney, and 19 points in total, were the main reason behind Harpenden’s success with tries from Conor McClean and Michael Goode completing the scoring.

The hosts led 9-6 at the break, a fair reflection of the game with both teams holding their own in the forwards and neither set of backs able to convert the chances that came their way.

A clash of shirts prompted the referee to ask for a half-time wardrobe change, Harpenden returning to the field in a canary-coloured outfit.

And the change seemed to affect Harpenden.

Within a few minutes of the restart Harpenden’s pack, under pressure near their line, conceded a penalty try.

And despite Sweeney scoring with a fourth penalty, a low skimmer of a kick, Woodford then extended their lead through Cris Kaminski.

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Sweeney hit back with his fifth penalty before Harpenden turned the screw.

Bobby Tane linked with McClean for the full-back to score and Goode sealed the win thanks to three outrageous dummies.

The reliable left-foot of Sweeney completed the scoring.

For Harpenden scrum-half Fred Gulliford impressed with his harrying of his opposite number while hooker Alex Randall and Tane were both active in the loose, shutting down the Woodford back-line for long periods.

With half their league programme now completed, Harpenden are just eight points off a promotion spot.

They are next in action on January 9 when Old Merchant Taylors’ visit Redbourn Lane.