Two bonus points was a good reward after an injury-hit Welwyn suffered defeat on the road to Enfield Ignatians.

The 30-24 loss in Counties One Herts Middlesex saw Hobbs Way-based rugby club head south with only a handful of regular first team players, meaning there were numerous debutants as well as veterans like Phil Grehan and Dan Webb recalled to the ranks.

They got off to a bright start though and after a line-out maul had been held up over the line, a scrum was moved left for Josh Milton to bag a try, converted by Chris Kemp.

Enfield levelled almost immediately and were ahead just as quickly, a move which ended with Jack Bishop injuring a leg, leaving young second row Christian Salisbury to play the rest of match in an unfamiliar wing position.

Welwyn thought they would turn round in front when Grehen set up Kemp to score in the corner, the latter converting his own try, but a penalty meant the hosts led 15-14 at the break.

Another three points stretched their lead further but a red card to the Ignatians' prop suddenly swung the game back towards the visitors.

Enfield shrugged off that loss to bag the next five points after a Welwyn mistake at a maul but it was cancelled out when Will Latham went over.

Enfield were down to 13 men at that point with a yellow card adding to their woes and Welwyn made them pay by retaking the lead.

A mazy run from Fin Sutherland saw him link with the supporting Tom Emery who powered over from 20 metres to score.

Kemp missed the conversion but Welwyn led 24-23.

It proved inconsequential though as without any substitutes left, Welwyn were left with 14 men with Ryan Travers limping out.

And with the sides now matched for numbers, Enfield fielded a deft cross-field kick to score to the left of the posts and win the game.

Head coach Gareth Hughes was pleased with the performance if not the result.

He said: "We never gave up and on another day could have come away with a win.

"I am delighted with the attitude of what was a mainly second-string side and there were some outstanding individual efforts from the likes of Josh Walkley and man of the match Matt Trussell.

"With a number of players returning next week selection may well be quite tough."

Welwyn Hatfield Times:

Datchworth meanwhile lost 29-11 away to Finchley to slip to ninth while the third team were also beaten, 30-15 away to Hatfield Queen Elizabeth.

That result left Hatfield top of the Herts Middlesex Merit Four Table.

A midfield scrap burst into life with good ball won by the forwards and shipped out by scrum-half Luke Goodwin to the backs.

From there Charlie Gibbs and Kieran O’Shea linked up for the latter to score, however, Datchworth scored a try of their own shortly after.

HQE dominated the next phase of play with Gibbs on a personal mission to win the contest.

He slotted two penalties and then scored back-to-back tries giving the home team an 18-point lead.

When Datchworth were able to get their hands on the ball they were kept out by a couple of try-saving tackles by wingers Liam Baker and Arjun Chandrakanthan and flanker Jose Cuesta Cester.

They did score twice as the game started to reach its conclusion but Hatfield weren’t finished and one final attack brought one final try, scored by Sam Gifford and converted by Gibbs.