Going up! Crushing victory confirms Welwyn’s promotion

PUBLISHED: 15:19 16 April 2018 | UPDATED: 16:02 16 April 2018

Welwyn RFC V Old Merchant Taylors - Robert Picken in action for Welwyn.


Picture: Karyn Haddon

Welwyn RFC V Old Merchant Taylors - Robert Picken in action for Welwyn. Picture: Karyn Haddon

Archant

Welwyn will be playing a league above next season after securing promotion with an outstanding 52-17 win over Old Merchant Taylors’.

Welwyn RFC V Old Merchant Taylors - Philip Grehan in action for Welwyn.


Picture: Karyn Haddon Welwyn RFC V Old Merchant Taylors - Philip Grehan in action for Welwyn. Picture: Karyn Haddon

The victory coupled with Stevenage Town’s loss to Grasshoppers means the Hobbs Way-based rugby club leap above their north Hertfordshire rivals into the second automatic promotion spot.

The original thought had been that two wins would have been needed, against OMT and then away to Cheshunt next Saturday in their game in hand.

Welwyn RFC V Old Merchant Taylors.


Picture: Karyn Haddon Welwyn RFC V Old Merchant Taylors. Picture: Karyn Haddon

But news from Stevenage gave the large crowd even more to celebrate.

They had already enjoyed a superb Welwyn performance on a beautiful day for rugby.

Welwyn RFC V Old Merchant Taylors - Aaron Chandler in action for Welwyn.


Picture: Karyn Haddon Welwyn RFC V Old Merchant Taylors - Aaron Chandler in action for Welwyn. Picture: Karyn Haddon

The hosts had taken the lead with a try from Phil Grehan, returning after a six-month absence, with Ben Osgood adding the extras.

The visitors added five points shortly after but it would be their only score of the half.

Welwyn RFC V Old Merchant Taylors .


Picture: Karyn Haddon Welwyn RFC V Old Merchant Taylors . Picture: Karyn Haddon

A line-out inside the OMT 22 gave Welwyn their second score, captain Will Freeston getting the final touch and a third converted try, scored by Rob Picken who had started the move with a 40 metre charge, gave Welwyn a 21-5 half-time lead.

That increased to 26 with Brad Lack crossing for the bonus-point score and Henry Fee got in on the action with try number five.

Welwyn RFC V Old Merchant Taylors - Yourgos Alexander in action for Welwyn.


Picture: Karyn Haddon Welwyn RFC V Old Merchant Taylors - Yourgos Alexander in action for Welwyn. Picture: Karyn Haddon

Welwyn took the opportunity of their 33-5 lead to empty their bench, bringing on Joe Burns, Cam Patey and Tom Emery.

To their credit, OMT refused to throw in the towel and a try in the corner reduced the deficit but Welwyn responded with the try of the game.

Welwyn RFC V Old Merchant Taylors - Philip Grehan in action for Welwyn.


Picture: Karyn Haddon Welwyn RFC V Old Merchant Taylors - Philip Grehan in action for Welwyn. Picture: Karyn Haddon

Grehan and Aaron Chandler combined to create the space for vice-captain Adam Harcourt, Osgood’s conversion taking the score to 40-10.

A minute later the Chandler-Harcourt combination were at it again with another well-constructed try down the left channel that Osgood again converted.

Welwyn RFC V Old Merchant Taylors - Adam Harcourt in action for Welwyn.


Picture: Karyn Haddon Welwyn RFC V Old Merchant Taylors - Adam Harcourt in action for Welwyn. Picture: Karyn Haddon

OMT got their third try before Harcourt finished things off after a great pass from scrum-half Yourgos Alexander.

With promotion already in the bag Welwyn will now travel to Cheshunt, who themselves were celebrating on Saturday after beating the drop, looking to put on an entertaining display to bring down the curtain on a great season.

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