Dramatic Trophy success for Hatfield against Watford

PUBLISHED: 17:14 16 December 2008 | UPDATED: 22:09 26 October 2009

Captain Leon Ellis leads his team off the pitch after beating Watford

Captain Leon Ellis leads his team off the pitch after beating Watford

President s Trophy Second Round Hatfield 22 Watford 17 HATFIELD will face Royston in the third round of the President s Trophy after a dramatic 22-17 win over Watford at Roe Hill on Saturday. Owen Doyle scored a winning try from the last play of the game

Hatfield in the line-out against Watford

President's Trophy Second Round

Hatfield 22 Watford 17

HATFIELD will face Royston in the third round of the President's Trophy after a dramatic 22-17 win over Watford at Roe Hill on Saturday.

Owen Doyle scored a winning try from the last play of the game for the hosts after they had trailed with seven minutes left.

It was always going to be a difficult encounter for Hatfield as their Watford opponents are riding high in a league above.

The weather wasn't going to help at all with driving rain and wind so it was astonishing that Hatfield came out of the blocks the quicker and the stronger.

The first 15 minutes was all about the Roe Hill side's set pieces.

Their scrums were solid, the line outs all worked well and the interaction of the forwards and backs drove them ever-forward.

This led inevitably to a great try which started with a blind side break by man of the match Damien Poulter who linked up with Ian Burnett on the wing.

His pass out of the tackle to number eight Johnny Warner was timed to perfection and Warner stormed through the Watford defence to score, Owen Doyle converted.

It seemed Watford had come to Hatfield expecting a walk over and this was a much needed wake up call.

They upped their game and began to turn the screw.

Their forwards began setting the phases again and again driving Hatfield steadily back but the home team soaked up the pressure with a strong defensive line.

That was until a clever chip over the ruck by the Watford scrum half had both teams scrabbling for the ball, a Watford player got to it first and touched down.

From the kick-off the visiting team piled on the pressure. Minutes after their first they scored a second which was again converted.

Hatfield heads did not go down and there was no question of them losing the game.

Second row Damien Poulter began organising attacks, marshalling the forwards for phase after phase rocking the Watford defence time and time again.

This again led to a break through the line giving the space the backs needed for it to be swiftly passed from one wing to the next with Nick Bishop breaking a final tackle to score in the corner just on half-time.

The conversion was missed and the half time score was 17-12 to the visitors.

Almost 20 minutes of the second half saw Hatfield camped in their own 22.

Watford were awarded a penalty in front of the posts which they took taking them five points clear.

This however cleared the air for Hatfield and they found the space they needed to play their own game.

It was also the part of the game when Hatfield come into their own because of their fitness levels.

Watford came away with only three points after the 20 minute onslaught.

They were tired and arguing amongst themselves and Hatfield took advantage.

With just seven minutes to go some clever kicking got Hatfield up the park.

Tired hands in the Watford camp spilled possession. From the set scrum fly-half Toby Garrett organised the attack with a deft little pass onto a searing run by Owen Doyle.

He cut through the defence to score wide on the wing, the conversion was missed so it was 17-17 with two minutes to go.

If the game had finished level it could have gone to extra time, but Hatfield had other ideas.

From the kick-off the forwards, led by George Stone, stormed up field.

The tired legs of the opposition frantically chased him, but there was a spill from the back of the ruck which gave Watford their put in at the scrum.

The referee informed the players that this was the last play of the game.

In dramatic fashion the front row won against the head and the ball was shipped out quickly to the other side of the park.

Where once again Owen Doyle went over the line to score and win a most amazing cup tie by 22-17.


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