Hatfield breathe sigh of relief as missed Tring kicks bring opening day victory
PUBLISHED: 08:54 20 September 2017 | UPDATED: 09:02 20 September 2017
Hatfield Queen Elizabeth opened their Herts Merit Table Three campaign with a stuttering 19-18 over Tring 3rds - and needed a missed a conversion on the final play to do so.
Playing on their home pitch at Roe Hill they trailed at half-time before a converted try from Laurel-Evrard Tchangou midway through the second period put them ahead.
And it stayed that way until the final minute when Tring crossed the whitewash for a try of their own.
However, the conversion was missed horribly and Hatfield started with victory.
The game had started in typical Hatfield style with the forwards absorbing pressure from a dominant Tring pack.
But it was the hosts who got the first score thanks to a charge down field, started from inside his own half, by fly-half Rob Jack.
He dotted down under the posts and Charlie Gibbs added the conversion.
Tring fought back instantly and were exerting pressure back onto Hatfield, pressure that eventually saw them break through the dogged HQE defence.
Missed conversions would prove costly for the visitors. This one was missed as was one soon after, when Tring went over for their second try.
A strong maul from Hatfield put them back into the lead, the pack forcing Damien Poulter for the try, one Gibbs could add the extras to.
But before the half-time whistle blew, Tring were back in front with a penalty awarded for Hatfield not rolling away in the tackle.
The second half was an uneventful affair until Tchangou’s try.
It started with an interception by Toby Garrett who put winger Niall Easdale into space down the touchline.
Tchangou was in support to finish off the two-on-one and score under the posts.
Once again Gibbs scored the conversion.
Tring’s final attack threatened to spoil the party but Hatfield hung on, much to the delight of George Stone.
He said: “It was good to see the team play for each other and grind out the win.
“To start the season this way is really encouraging and it gives us a solid platform to push forward with in our next game.”
Hatfield’s next fixture is away to Hendon 2nds on Saturday.