Destiny in Welwyn’s hands as Kilburn win fires them back into promotion frame

PUBLISHED: 09:35 20 February 2018 | UPDATED: 09:41 20 February 2018

Will Freeston grounds the ball for Welwyn's opening try against Kilburn. Picture: Kevin Lines

Will Freeston grounds the ball for Welwyn's opening try against Kilburn. Picture: Kevin Lines

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Welwyn hold their promotion dreams in the palm of their hand according to head coach Gareth Hughes after a “fantastic team performance” helped the Hobbs Way rugby club to a 34-7 win over Kilburn Cosmos.

Welwyn's Dave Wells is stopped by Kilburn's George Veater. Picture: Kevin Lines Welwyn's Dave Wells is stopped by Kilburn's George Veater. Picture: Kevin Lines

It leaves them third in the London North West Three table, seven points behind league leaders Grasshoppers but just one adrift of Hertfordshire rivals Stevenage Town in the final promotion spot.

Henry Fee looks to break through for Welwyn. Picture: Kevin Lines Henry Fee looks to break through for Welwyn. Picture: Kevin Lines

And with the remaining fixtures seeming to favour them, Hughes believes they could still have a positive end to the season.

Welwyn's Brad Lack and Harry Gillespie gang up to stop Kilburn Cosmos. Picture: Kevin Lines Welwyn's Brad Lack and Harry Gillespie gang up to stop Kilburn Cosmos. Picture: Kevin Lines

He said: “We’ve got five games left and we’ve played all the top teams so our destiny is in our hands. If we can win them we’ll be in a really good place.”

Andy Hutt has to clear out for Kilburn as Welwyn look to steal the ball at a ruck. Picture: Kevin Lines Andy Hutt has to clear out for Kilburn as Welwyn look to steal the ball at a ruck. Picture: Kevin Lines

Saturday’s win against one of the division’s form sides ended a run of three narrow defeats, with just a combined score of eight edging Welwyn out.

Brad Lack looks to step round Kilburn's Tom Walsh. Picture: Kevin Lines Brad Lack looks to step round Kilburn's Tom Walsh. Picture: Kevin Lines

And Hughes was delighted with the response.

No way through for Kilburn's Phil Cook as Rory Harcourt and Yourgos Alexander stand firm in the tackle. Picture: Kevin Lines No way through for Kilburn's Phil Cook as Rory Harcourt and Yourgos Alexander stand firm in the tackle. Picture: Kevin Lines

He said: “It was fantastic, just a really good team performance.

Brad Lack pushes forward for Welwyn. Picture: kevin Lines Brad Lack pushes forward for Welwyn. Picture: kevin Lines

“Our set-piece was magnificent. The line-outs were really good and it was a really pleasing after two disappointing results.

David Francis finishes his tackle as Will Freeston looks on. Picture: Kevin Lines David Francis finishes his tackle as Will Freeston looks on. Picture: Kevin Lines

“It’s small margins. We are very good with ball in hand and very good at attacking but sometimes we have to rein that in.

Welwyn's Will Freeston wrestles for possesion with Kilburn's Tom Ding. Picture: Kevin Lines Welwyn's Will Freeston wrestles for possesion with Kilburn's Tom Ding. Picture: Kevin Lines

“Our mistakes have cost us in the last two games so its really pleasing that we’re back on track.

David Francis for Welwyn. Picture: Kevin Lines David Francis for Welwyn. Picture: Kevin Lines

“Defensively we were fantastic. Kilburn are a very good side, good in the midfield with some very good ball carriers but we just trusted our defence. And at turnover ball we were ruthless.”

Dan Webb and Cameron Patey put in a tackle. Picture: Kevin Lines Dan Webb and Cameron Patey put in a tackle. Picture: Kevin Lines

Welwyn drew first blood when Will Freeston got the final touch at the back of a maul.

Teams observe a minutes silence before kick off. Picture: Kevin Lines Teams observe a minutes silence before kick off. Picture: Kevin Lines

And a second try scored by Rob Picken, who bounced through a number of would-be tacklers on his way to the line, and converted by Rory Harcourt gave Welwyn a 12-0 half-time lead.

Brad Lack for Welwyn. Picture: Kevin Lines Brad Lack for Welwyn. Picture: Kevin Lines

Kilburn caught Welwyn cold moments after the restart but any comeback was soon nipped in the bud as the hosts took control.

The Cosmos still had chances, one final pass just drifting forwards prevented another try, but Welwyn slowly drew clear.

Harcourt kicked a penalty and added another conversion after Dave Wells picked up and crashed over from a five-metre scrum.

Cameron Patey was on the end of another forward dominated drive to bring up the bonus point and Harry Gillespie’s converted try on the final play added the exclamation point.

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