Double-header blow against Fullerians for new Welwyn coach

PUBLISHED: 15:10 13 March 2014 | UPDATED: 15:10 13 March 2014

In his first game since taking on the role of head coach at Welwyn, Ian Matthews tasted defeat with a double-header loss to Fullerians.

Due to fixture congestion because of the recent bad weather this fixture combined the postponed London 3 NW league fixture and the semi-final of the Herts RFU President’s Tankard competition.

After five minutes play a penalty was converted by Fullerians from the left side of the field on the Welwyn 10m line giving them a 3-0 lead.

Welwyn soon started to regroup and came much more into the game as the half progressed. Good drives by the forwards and clean passing by the backs kept the ball well into the visitors half and a good kick ahead was touched down by the home side.

The Fullerians pack obtained good line out ball and the situation in that area became much worse when, after 20 minutes, line out jumper Owen Hopley had to leave the field when he turned an ankle. He was replaced by Ash Maxwell.

Soon afterwards Rory Page took the first of three scrums against the head but possession was subsequently lost. Welwyn’s momentum continued but possession was repeatedly lost by knock-ons despite good position being created by excellent drives by the backs and forwards and two penalty attempts failed.

In the second half the wind moved to being closer to straight across the pitch and despite excellent breaks by Welwyn errors were consistently made at about halfway and good kicking by Fullerians regularly took play back into the Welwyn 22.

The continued pressure by the home team eventually paid dividends with an unconverted try from close in, but Welwyn then opened their scoring after 10 minutes of the half when a dropped pass was kicked ahead by centre Phil Grehan who beat the opposition to score midway out on the left, but the conversion attempt failed.

Despite making several breaks up to and over halfway Welwyn could not retain possession and the home team scored a second try, this time converted to increase their lead to 15-5.

Fullerians completed their scoring with a penalty in the dying minutes of the game and ran out comfortable winners at 18-5. This Saturday Welwyn entertain Finchley.

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