There were conflicting emotions for Welwyn Rugby Club as their weekend had two very differing occasions.

Pride was the dominant one that came out of Friday's wine-tasting event in aid of JOCA, the mental health charity that was formed in house at the Hobbs Way-based club.

The event was hosted by Rachel Elliott and Alex Vooght from the Wine Society and attracted a sell-out crowd of 60 people who enjoyed tasting eight different wines accompanied by a delicious platter of antipasti.

The main purpose of the evening though was to raise money and it managed to donate £1,000, to the delight of JOCA chair Justin Burgess.

He said: "The evening was a huge success and the amount raised will go towards looking after the mental health of the club’s members.

"We are very grateful to the club for arranging the event and to Rachel and Alex for hosting it.

"It was a cracking evening."

Some of those in attendance made it Summer's Lane a few hours later as Welwyn faced Finchley in Counties One Herts Middlesex.

That, however, was less enjoyable as the depleted visitors slipped to a 37-7 loss to remain sixth in the table.

They had travelled with just two replacements and played the final 30 minutes of the contest a man short as injuries hit hard.


Drew LeBaigue’s troublesome knee let him down again as he tried to catch Finchley's nippy scrum-half and Tom Emery limped out with an ankle injury before the break.

A blow to the head ended Jack Cottrell's afternoon in the second period and Welwyn's hopes of overturning an 18-7 half-time deficit.

Two tries in three minutes immediately after the centre's departure saw to that as well but to their credit, the remaining visiting players made sure Finchley didn't score again.

And another day, they may have even added to their first-half try, scored by Ash Dobney after a textbook catch and drive from a line-out and converted by Brad Wiles.

And given the extenuating circumstances, head coach Gareth Hughes was focusing on the positives.

He said: "I was so proud of the commitment and never-say-die attitude of the players. There were many more positives than negatives.

"Lloyd Evans had an outstanding debut and young Cam [Sharkey] at nine is a real talent.

"It was great to welcome back winger Josh Dickens after a long-term injury and Ash Dobney led the team well.

"We have some fantastic youngsters and the future of Welwyn looks bright. Next week is a new beginning.”

That game brings Welwyn back to Hobbs Way and a game against the side directly above them in the table, Hitchin.

Datchworth were without a game this weekend but like Welwyn, their next action sees them take on the side above them in the table at home, in their case, Hampstead.