Gallery: Welwyn go down to title-chasing Tring
PUBLISHED: 13:50 13 February 2008 | UPDATED: 21:08 26 October 2009
WELWYN lost six tries to one against titlechasing county rivals Tring on Saturday. After encouraging back-to-back victories against Woodford and London Nigerian, the Hobbs Way club lost 38-10 on their travels to West Herts. Play remained in the visitors
WELWYN lost six tries to one against titlechasing county rivals Tring on Saturday.
After encouraging back-to-back victories against Woodford and London Nigerian, the Hobbs Way club lost 38-10 on their travels to West Herts.
Play remained in the visitors' 22 for the first few minutes with the away defence meeting the first challenges as Tring quickly moved the ball wide.
Welwyn won good ball from a scrum on their own 22.
A promising move down the blind, with Jon Child entering the line from full back, ended as Peter Elliott came inside and was tackled before he could make the next pass.
This had taken play up to the Tring 22 and Welwyn won a penalty to gain a lineout five metres out.
From that play, Tring conceded a penalty which Gareth Hughes converted to put Welwyn into the lead after 10 minutes. However, the next period was disastrous for the Welwyn side.
Although their forwards had been holding their own, Tring ran in three tries, all converted, to bring the score to 21-3.
More disaster was to follow for the visitors. As the forwards battled on and held their own, unforced handling errors by the Welwyn backs continued to give the talented Tring players every opportunity to counter attack.
With Welwyn attacking, the ball went loose and Tring winger Howe beat three men to eventually complete his hat-trick of tries out wide.
The conversion was successful and Tring were ahead by 28-3. Tring drove back upfield from the kick-off into the Welwyn 22.
During a scrum, the hosts managed to drive over the line for a forward's try to close the first period account at 33-3.
This was a half full of unforced errors by Welwyn, who did not stick to their game plan of keeping the ball tight and they paid the price.
Coach Peter Engledow and captain Owen Hopley must have had serious words with the team at halftime. Welwyn came out to resume in determined mood.
They kept the ball close, denied Tring good possession and defended Magnificently Territorially, the visitors spent all but the last few minutes of the half beyond their own 22 and up to the Tring line.
Immediately from kick-off, the Welwyn pack drove at their opponents up to their line.
They were finally rewarded as Grant Keeler touched down for Welwyn's first try.
Hughes converted to reduce the arrears to 33-10 after only two minutes.
For most of the half Welwyn dominated the play, denying Tring good possession.
The onward drives from the set scrums and in the loose were spearheaded by Keeler, Harris and Rob Picken.
From the lineouts, the catch and drive was orchestrated by good throwing from both Jacques Naude and Simon Banks to Hopley and Rob James.
The whole front eight were outstanding. Tring were denied the opportunity to attack from deep and the backs' defence held in midfield with Hopley retreating to midfield on Tring scrums.
With about a quarter of an hour to go, William Freeston was unluckily yellow carded after a skirmish on the Tring 22.
Welwyn had to knuckle down for the last period of the game.
Play moved down field and the away side won good ball to launch an attack on the right-hand side as they chased the game.
With Child in the line, it seemed certain that the two-on-one situation would lead to a Welwyn try and reduce the deficit.
Uncharacteristically Child, who had played his usual staunch game, fumbled the ball which went to ground and was pounced upon by a Tring back.
With no covering defence, he was behind the whole Welwyn side and cantered in from 50 metres for the final blow and try to make the score 38-10.