League leaders Welwyn leave it late to beat Hackney
PUBLISHED: 16:52 10 December 2014 | UPDATED: 16:52 10 December 2014
Welwyn remain at the London Three North West summit after beating Hackney 19-10 on Saturday.
Substitute Ben Osgood was the home hero as he scored 14 second-half points to inspire a Welwyn comeback.
Welwyn started the league clash slowly after various small excursions into opposition territory proved to be unfruitful.
They were soon caught out by a quick overlap on the left wing, handing the first try of the match to the visitors for a 5-0 lead.
Welwyn continued to mount sporadic attacks with their pack, including prop Ross Merrilees, making dents in the Hackney forwards but with no end reward.
Merrilees was replaced by Dan Atkinson and right wing Andrew Smith was replaced by Osgood in the second half.
After half-time, Welwyn continued to struggle, and within minutes Hackney forwards made their second attempt at crashing through the Welwyn defence and this time successfully doing so.
Trailing 10-0 Welwyn’s situation was looking precarious.
However, Welwyn re-asserted themselves on the match and when Gillespie exploited gaps in the opposition defence to move to the outside, it opened a path for substitute Osgood to score in the corner, halving the deficit.
Welwyn slowly began gaining momentum up the pitch, climaxing with Ben Smith breaking down the left wing to offload to Picken who gained essential metres.
The ball was delivered to Osgood to make a break outside and he dodged two opponents and scored under the posts. His subsequent conversion put the league leaders in the lead for the first time.
Hackney were shell-shocked and a superb rip and steal from man of the match second row, Antonio Denton, gave Welwyn quick ground upfield.
Enter Phil Grehan, who surged through the Hackney defence to again score under the posts. Another Osgood kick put the advantage to one try but that was to be enough for the home side.
With just seconds on the clock Denton delivered another impressive display of strength with another rip and steal to kick the ball into touch, finishing the match.
Welwyn travel to Stevenage Town on Saturday looking for more points
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Welwyn Hatfield Times. Click the link in the orange box above for details.