Harcourt treble does trick as Welwyn secure valuable league win away to Hitchin
PUBLISHED: 16:10 27 November 2017 | UPDATED: 08:32 28 November 2017
Adam Harcourt’s hat-trick keeps Welwyn very much in the promotion hunt after a 34-24 win at Hitchin.
The Hobbs Way rugby club remain third, one point behind Verulamians in second and two behind leaders Grasshoppers
This was always likely to be a difficult fixture for Welwyn, despite Hitchin’s position at the foot of the London North West Three table, and it proved to be the case.
Hitchin scored four tries and took the lead with only 15 minutes to play, but Welwyn finished strongly to steal victory.
Vice-Captain Harcourt’s tries were the clue to the win, with Welwyn’s backs looking dangerous every time they received good ball.
The game got underway with the referee happy to allow a seemingly obvious colour clash, something that wasn’t changed until Hitchin switched to their alternative blue strip at half-time.
The hosts started the match strongly and took the lead after five minutes with a score out wide.
But five minutes later, Welwyn were level after Dan Webb forced a turnover and the ball was moved left for centre Aaron Chandler to touch down.
Hitchin responded with a second try midway through the half, taking a ball against the head and scoring a converted try but once again Welwyn evened things up again.
This time a poor kick ahead by Hitchin was gratefully gathered up by Chandler.
He beat five defenders before feeding Harcourt who scored close enough to the posts for Harry Di-Lieto to convert.
And Welwyn took the lead for the first time just before the break when a good break by Rob Picken allowed skipper Will Freeston to drive over.
Ill discipline by both teams marred the opening of the second period, Yourgos Alexander and Webb receiving yellow cards and Hitchin seeing red for dangerous use of the elbow.
Picken scored though with Welwyn a man down before Hitchin enjoyed their best period of the match.
A penalty try and an unconverted effort put them 24-22 ahead but Harcourt crossed twice in the last seven minutes, one being converted by brother Rory, to clinch the win.
Welwyn return to league action at home to Finchley on December 9.