Late score could prove vital but Welwyn still lose grip on promotion spot at Stevenage
PUBLISHED: 07:00 07 February 2018
Welwyn lost their grip on second spot in London North West Three as Stevenage Town's 26-22 win saw the north Hertfordshire outfit leap over them.
Stevenage’s form has been impressive in the last few weeks, winning six of their last seven games, and this was always going to be a test for the Hobbs Way-based rugby club.
And Town dominated for long periods on their North Road pitch and it was testament to the Welwyn defence that they restricted the hosts to four tries.
However, it was a fourth try from Welwyn, with just one minute to go, that could prove crucial.
A loose pass was intercepted by Adam Harcourt well inside his own half and he turned on the after burners to sprint home earning his side not just a four-try bonus but a losing point as well.
It put a bit of a dampener on a very good Stevenage performance who benefitted from an excellent display at fly-half by Michael Wilson.
Town got off to a cracking start with a try in the fourth minute.
Alex Banna came infield from the left to take a ball at pace from a scrum and he rode a number of tackles before linking up with fellow winger George Turvey for the score.
Gareth Lewis added the conversion.
But Welwyn responded quickly and scored their first minutes later with a quick-tap penalty moved out to Harcourt.
Pressure from Stevenage failed to bring a score and Welwyn made them pay by taking the lead, Josh Milton powering his way through three tackles to the line. Rory Harcourt kicked the extras.
But from there it began to unravel as Stevenage bagged two more tries before half-time through Ian Crompton’s burst of acceleration and Ben Hodge, who pounced on an overthrow from a Welwyn line-out.
Lewis added both kicks for a 21-12 Stevenage lead.
Welwyn narrowed the gap with a third try seven minutes after the restart, Stevenage failing to deal with a kick ahead and Aaron Chandler taking full advantage.
But Stevenage secured their bonus point and put themselves nine ahead with a fine try finished off by Turvey for his second of the afternoon.
Stevenage continued to press and looked well set to deny Welwyn any league points until that vital interception resulted in two bonus points for the visitors.