Welwyn enjoy themselves as they crash Harpenden’s party

PUBLISHED: 08:21 02 October 2018 | UPDATED: 08:21 02 October 2018

Harpenden V Welwyn - Philip Grehan in action for Welwyn.


Picture: Karyn Haddon

Harpenden V Welwyn - Philip Grehan in action for Welwyn. Picture: Karyn Haddon

Archant

Welwyn played their role as party-poopers perfectly as they spoiled Harpenden’s celebrations with a 22-19 win.

Harpenden V Welwyn - Dave Fennell in action for Welwyn.


Picture: Karyn HaddonHarpenden V Welwyn - Dave Fennell in action for Welwyn. Picture: Karyn Haddon

The game marked the official opening of the Redbourn Lane-based rugby club’s new artificial pitch and there was plenty of pomp afforded to the occasion.

Harpenden V Welwyn - Adam Wilkinson in action for Harpenden.


Picture: Karyn HaddonHarpenden V Welwyn - Adam Wilkinson in action for Harpenden. Picture: Karyn Haddon

But Welwyn were in no mood to play second fiddle and with perfect conditions both under foot and over head they battled to the narrow success.

Harpenden V Welwyn - Jack Haddock in action for Harpenden.


Picture: Karyn HaddonHarpenden V Welwyn - Jack Haddock in action for Harpenden. Picture: Karyn Haddon

Honours were largely even in the opening 15 minutes although Harpenden lost lock Ed Preston to the bin following a quick tap-penalty taken by Yourgos Alexander.

Harpenden V Welwyn .


Picture: Karyn HaddonHarpenden V Welwyn . Picture: Karyn Haddon

And three minutes later Welwyn took advantage of their numerical superiority.

Harpenden V Welwyn - Ed Preston in action for Harpenden.


Picture: Karyn HaddonHarpenden V Welwyn - Ed Preston in action for Harpenden. Picture: Karyn Haddon

Dave Francis took a good ball at the tail of the line-out and fed Conor Boland, who crashed over to open the scoring.

Harpenden V Welwyn - Philip Grehan in action for Welwyn.


Picture: Karyn HaddonHarpenden V Welwyn - Philip Grehan in action for Welwyn. Picture: Karyn Haddon

Harpenden responded with a try of their own, Billy Sach going under the posts following a break in midfield, leaving Will Hales the easy conversion to give Harpenden a 7-5 lead.

Harpenden V Welwyn - Philip Grehan in action for Welwyn.


Picture: Karyn HaddonHarpenden V Welwyn - Philip Grehan in action for Welwyn. Picture: Karyn Haddon

But back came Welwyn and Alexander released tearaway wing forward Josh Milton, who raced in from 30 yards with Ben Osgood converting.

Harpenden V Welwyn .


Picture: Karyn HaddonHarpenden V Welwyn . Picture: Karyn Haddon

However, Harpenden managed to level the scores on the stroke of half-time spurning two kickable penalties in favour of the scrum, decisions that led to Jack Pennell scoring in the corner.

Harpenden V Welwyn - George Attfield in action for Harpenden


Picture: Karyn HaddonHarpenden V Welwyn - George Attfield in action for Harpenden Picture: Karyn Haddon

Chris Kemp replaced Osgood early in the second half but soon saw yellow for a team offence close to the Welwyn line.

Harpenden V Welwyn - George Attfield in action for Harpenden


Picture: Karyn HaddonHarpenden V Welwyn - George Attfield in action for Harpenden Picture: Karyn Haddon

And Harpenden used that to get their noses in front, George Attfield galloping over for a converted try.

Harpenden V Welwyn .


Picture: Karyn HaddonHarpenden V Welwyn . Picture: Karyn Haddon

It was now Welwyn’s turn to attack and like their hosts, a kickable penalty was refused, this time in favour of a kick to the corner.

Harpenden V Welwyn .


Picture: Karyn HaddonHarpenden V Welwyn . Picture: Karyn Haddon

From the line-out, Boland broke free to score his second try of the game almost unopposed and Dave Fennell’s conversion levelled the scores at 19-19.

Harpenden V Welwyn - George Attfield in action for Harpenden


Picture: Karyn HaddonHarpenden V Welwyn - George Attfield in action for Harpenden Picture: Karyn Haddon

What turned out to be the winning score arrived with five minutes left on the clock, Kemp doing the honours.

Harpenden V Welwyn - Jack Haddock in action for Harpenden.


Picture: Karyn HaddonHarpenden V Welwyn - Jack Haddock in action for Harpenden. Picture: Karyn Haddon

And even though there was still time for one last Harpenden attack, their potshot at the posts narrowly missed.

Harpenden V Welwyn .


Picture: Karyn HaddonHarpenden V Welwyn . Picture: Karyn Haddon

The win puts Welwyn into second place, five points behind leaders Belsize Park and with a home game against bottom of the table Grasshoppers on Saturday.

More news stories

13 minutes ago

Train bosses are putting the finishing touches to refurbishments at Welwyn Garden City station as part of a nationwide investment project.

16:25

An exclusive preview screening of new movie The Favourite will be shown at the Welwyn Garden City Cinema.

16:06

Headteachers from Welwyn Garden City have responded to Ofsted’s proposals to judge more on personal development and leadership than on exam results.

A man was arrested in Welwyn Garden City after officers seized suspected Class A drugs from his vehicle.

Most read stories

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Welwyn Hatfield Times weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy