Three straight defeats for struggling Welwyn

PUBLISHED: 11:39 19 January 2017 | UPDATED: 11:39 19 January 2017

Chris Kemp

Chris Kemp

Archant

Welwyn continued their difficult start to 2017 with a drubbing at new league leaders Hampstead on Saturday.

The visitors had no reply to the in-form hosts who had won seven of their last eight London Two North West games.

Although this was another heavy defeat for Welwyn, they were unlikely to get anything out of the first two games after Christmas and the score lines in both games, although unflattering, will not affect their final league position.

More important games are to follow soon, starting with a home fixture against fellow strugglers Tabard on January 28.

Welwyn were missing several key players, including Adam and Rory Harcourt, Harry Gillespie, William Freeston and Cameron Patey.

On the plus side, they welcomed back Chris Kemp after a lengthy injury break and the previous Saturday’s debutant from the bench, Josh Milton, was given his first start in the back row.

Welwyn started the game brightly with good carries made by the abrasive Ash Maxwell and Rob Picken.

Defence was also strong early on with Milton making some telling tackles on the large and athletic Hampstead forwards.

Hampstead played a simple, but effective, game in the first half, taking the ball up through the forwards before releasing it quickly to their dangerous runners in the back three.

Welwyn did well to restrict Hampstead to a 17-0 lead at half-time.

The second half started poorly for the visitors.

They began to fall off tackles and Hampstead needed no second invitation to punch large holes in the Welwyn defence.

Welwyn struggled to cope once the initial defensive line had been broken and Hampstead helped themselves to tries almost at will in the first 30 minutes of the second half.

To Welwyn’s credit, however, they somehow managed to regroup and finish the match strongly, showing plenty of courage and character in defence in the final 10 minutes of the game.

Welwyn remain second bottom with eight games to go.

They next travel to Harrow in the National Cup competition on Saturday.


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