Herts just hold on for slender win
PUBLISHED: 12:27 25 February 2008 | UPDATED: 22:17 26 October 2009
Hertfordshire A XV 19 Middlesex County Clubs XV 18 HERTS A had an exciting one-point win over Middlesex County Clubs at Old Albanian RFC last Wednesday. The county side, including Welwyn back Jon Child, looked to be coasting to a comfortable victory at 1
Hertfordshire A XV 19
Middlesex County Clubs XV 18
HERTS A had an exciting one-point win over Middlesex County Clubs at Old Albanian RFC last Wednesday.
The county side, including Welwyn back Jon Child, looked to be coasting to a comfortable victory at 19-5 ahead midway through the second half.
However, the home side had to withstand a strong Middlesex rally in which the visitors scored 13 points in the space of just six minutes.
Herts had much the better of the first half territorially, but they failed to capitalise on that and at half-time the teams were level at five points each.
The opening 10 minutes or so of the half didn't go well for Herts.
Skipper Ed Orchard sustained a serous shoulder injury in the fourth minute, meaning an early entry for replacement Child.
Middlesex and Datchworth hooker Richard Elvery drove over from a lineout for the game's opening score on 10 minutes.
The Herts forwards took the match to the visitors and gained territorial advantage and a good supply of ball.
However, the Middlesex defence was sound and it was not until the 24th minute that Herts finally got the break through.
Herts capitalised on a poor Middlesex clearance, ran the ball back and Tom Newton made a break to enable left wing Greg Bezzer to score in the corner.
The hosts continued to press for the rest of the half but the sides remained level at the break.
Middlesex took the early second-half initiative, but soon lost a player, who was yellow carded for killing the ball.
A second visitor was carded eight minutes later and Herts took immediate advantage of their two-man superiority when John Sayers drove over from a lineout to touch down. Gavin Donald added the conversion.
Herts won turnover ball straight from the kick-off and spun the ball to Bezzer on the halfway line.
The Fullerians wing took his chance well, beating three men in his sprint for the line.
Donald again added two point and Herts looked comfortable at 19-5 up.
Middlesex had other ideas and they took advantage of some sloppy Herts play for Elvery to get his second try of the match.
Another try came minutes later when Herts lost the ball on the halfway line and Twickenham right wing Luke Mitchell sprinted over.
Another Middlesex attack resulted in a penalty, which Finchley's David Earle kicked, and with eight minutes to go Herts' visitors were only one point behind.
Some frenetic play followed and Middlesex missed a drop goal attempt. Herts tried running out of defence rather than kicking and they just held on for their slender 19-18 victory.