Manicures needed as Welwyn battle to Cheshunt win
PUBLISHED: 16:36 08 November 2017 | UPDATED: 16:45 08 November 2017
With three games at home, the huge crowd at Hobbs Way were spoilt for choice of viewing - but those who chose the first team's 20-13 win over Cheshunt were left with well-chewed fingernails.
With almost 100 in attendance at the club’s former players’ lunch, the two London North West Three sides served up a cracker of clash, with the result in doubt right up until the final whistle.
The hosts outscored their opponents by four tries to one but with Rory Harcourt having an off-day with the boot, two penalties from Cheshunt had them within one score.
But even with a man advantage in the closing stages, Cheshunt couldn’t find a way through the maroon and white defence.
It left head coach Gareth Hughes feeling a mixture of relief and delight after the game.
“It was really tough,” he said. “It was a physical game and the guys took quite a while to get going but a lot of the work we’ve done in pre-season with fitness paid off. We’ve worked really hard on that and it was the difference.
“Attacking wise we’ve got a lot of talent but once we get the defensive mind-set right. we’re a physical team.
“We just need to do that from the first minute and not the 60th.”
The sides were level at half-time, Dan Comben and Rob Picken scoring tries for Welwyn while a converted Bobby Bolton effort and penalty from Johno Wicks got the visiting scores.
Wicks knocked over another penalty on 54 minutes, in a 10-minute spell where Cheshunt were dominant.
But it was there only score and once Welwyn go their hands on the ball, they scored two well-worked tries in three minutes, through Harry Gillespie and Aaron Chandler to win the game.
That spell after the hour was the key to the success for Hughes and it sets up an intriguing encounter against league leaders Verulamians on Saturday.
The coach said: “That was the light bulb moment for the team. They threw everything at us but we weathered that and held our discipline really well.
“Everyone is capable of beating each other in this league.
“It’s a massive game against Verulamians, something we’re really excited about.
“And if we can come away with a win we’ll be back in the mix.”
The 2nds lost 50-8 to Ampthill Jets while the 3rds just went down 30-24 to Biggleswade 3rds.