Full report: Twickenham date for Herts after beating Middlesex in County Shield
PUBLISHED: 17:06 26 May 2009 | UPDATED: 22:28 26 October 2009
RFU County Championship Shield Middlesex 28 Hertfordshire 39 HERTS will be running out at Twickenham on Saturday in the final of the RFU County Championship Shield. That s because they topped the Southern Pool of the competition after beating Middlesex 3
RFU County Championship Shield
Middlesex 28 Hertfordshire 39
HERTS will be running out at Twickenham on Saturday in the final of the RFU County Championship Shield.
That's because they topped the Southern Pool of the competition after beating Middlesex 39-28 at Staines on Saturday.
This maintained their unbeaten record.
Herts now play Cheshire in the Shield showpiece at Twickenham on Saturday, with an early 10am start.
Against Middlesex, Herts were not at full strength with a number of players unavailable or injured.
The home side were fired up, playing for pride following two defeats, and it took some time before Herts got into the game.
Their new back row combination settled slowly and the lineouts were not as secure as usual.
But when good ball was established, the backs once again showed plenty of flare.
The forwards too handled well in the loose and when Middlesex came back late in the game the defence was pretty solid.
Middlesex had much the best of the opening quarter of the game as the revised Herts side settled.
Richard Mahoney opened the scoring with a penalty for Middlesex from the 22 after only four minutes.
Five minutes later, from a lineout 20 metres out Middlesex ran the ball, recycled and centre Martin Ridley crossed the line for a try converted by Mahoney.
Herts were 13 points down when they conceded a penalty and Mahoney added the points.
However, from the restart the hosts knocked on and Herts set up a good position.
A clever kick from Handre Schmidt was gathered by David Rose, who touched down to open the visitors' account.
Although Middlesex were still looking dangerous, the visitors were getting back in the game.
On the half hour, a Herts attack was foiled.
However, in doing so Middlesex conceded a penalty 30 metres out and Richard Gregg made no mistake with his kick.
Herts were now running all the ball that they got and twice came close before another telling Schmidt run made room for left wing Adam Roberts to cross the line to equal the score.
Then, just before the half-time whistle, the visitors took the lead through a try by Steve Ellis converted by Gregg.
Although Middlesex closed the gap with a Mahoney penalty straight from the second half kick- off, they knocked on the restart and Schmidt with a great run took play to the home 22.
There the home side were penalised. Mark Evans quick as a flash took the penalty and sprinted over the line for a try, well converted by Gregg.
Herts were now playing with confidence. It was not long before Stuart Smart broke from well inside his own half.
He passed to Roberts, who then sprinted from the 10 metre line to the try-line. Gregg added the conversion to put Herts 34-16 up.
Next it was the turn of the away team's forwards to show their skill with the ball.
Prop Adam Gelman popped up in the line, made ground and gave the ball to his hooker, Giles Wallis, who only had 30 metres to go to score, which he did.
Herts gave away a penalty that enabled the home side to set up an attack.
Their No 8 Charlie Cooper was awarded a converted try.
Just before the end, Sam Gibbons got an unconverted try for the hosts.
Herts now look forward to their final meeting with Cheshire.
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