Title challenge remains on course as six-gun Harpenden shoot down Letchworth
- Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO
Harpenden kept their championship challenge firmly on course with an emphatic six-try 38-17 win at bottom club Letchworth.
It was their second double of the season and an important one too as London Two North West leaders Belsize Park picked up maximum points to maintain a six-point lead.
However, the victory also maintains position in second, two points ahead of Chiswick but a huge 10 points clear of fourth-placed Hampstead.
Adam Wilkinson and former St Albans coach Jeremy Walmsley both bagged two tries each while Jack Murphy and Michael Goode got one.
Tom Sweeney landed four of his six conversion attempts.
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Harpenden skipper Oli Lacey was pleased to come away with the bonus point success but insists there is more to come.
He said: “Our target today was five points so we’re delighted with the result.
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“At times we played really well, but there were also a few cobwebs left over from the Christmas break which meant that our finishing was not always as good as it should have been.”
The finishing looked fine after just three minutes when Murphy powered over for the opening score, converted by Sweeney, but Lacey’s point was driven home by the next 20 minutes where despite the visitors enjoying most of the possession, it was Letchworth who scored next through a Tatenda Gurure try.
Harpenden continued to squander good opportunities with three more going begging before half-time but they did manage to score twice more, Wilkinson and Walmsley getting the first of their braces.
The early part of the second half was much closer as the hosts rallied and they were duly rewarded with a fine try by Josh Parkhouse on 45 minutes.
Harpenden tried hard to hit back quickly but strong defence by Letchworth kept them at bay and it wasn’t until the 63rd minute that Wilkinson, now at scrum-half in place of the injured Fred Gulliford, scored his second.
Walmsley followed him seven minutes later after a powerful run by winger Jack Pennell but Letchworth replied with a try for Maxime Rifaut on 77 minutes.
But the last word belonged to Harpenden as Goode completed a fine day by crashing over on the final play.