Welwyn's start to 2023 could not have gone much worse after news of a long-term injury to a key man and a big defeat to Old Streetonians.

The Hobbs Way-based rugby club will be without skipper Josh Milton for the remainder of the season as he awaits a knee operation in March.

And he wasn't the only player missing as they slumped to a 51-17 home loss in the Counties One Herts Middlesex match.


It was the ultimate game of two halves but there were no complaints from the hosts as they found the east London side the better team on the day.

Welwyn fielded probably their biggest ever pack of forwards and in dreadful weather conditions, the home supporters saw their team approaching half-time with a hard-earned 10-8 lead.

They had scored first as the dominant pack drove Street back fully 25 metres before veteran prop Will Freeston touched down.

Old Street responded with a penalty and an unconverted try but Dave Wells scored in the corner after another dominant scrum.

However, with only 30 seconds left in the half, the home side failed to clear their lines and the visitors took full advantage, cutting a great line to score under the posts.

Centre Jack Lacey also suffered a serious ankle injury in the lead-up to the break and with three forwards on the bench, this created difficulties.

There was better weather after the interval too and with the rain done and the skies clearing, Old Streets talented back division got to work in a clinical and lethal fashion.

They scored five more tries to put the game well and truly beyond Welwyn although, to be fair to the home side, they never gave up and had the satisfaction of scoring the final try of the game through Ash Dobney.

Full-back Brendon Marume also added the conversion to add a little more shine to the score.

There were other positives as well, not least Cameron Sharkey acquitting himself admirably at scrum-half on his first-team debut.

Welwyn will hope for a whole lot more when they go to Hampstead on Saturday, the team two places and six points below them in the table.