London North West Two: Relief for cold and battered Welwyn as two late tries see off Grasshoppers

PUBLISHED: 08:50 08 October 2018

Welwyn made it three wins this season with victory over Grasshoppers at a cold and wet Hobbs Way. Picture: MARK LONG

Welwyn made it three wins this season with victory over Grasshoppers at a cold and wet Hobbs Way. Picture: MARK LONG


Two converted tries in the final two minutes gave Welwyn a third win of the season and clinched a bonus-point 26-6 success over Grasshoppers.

And if that sounds a little too close for comfort, it’s because it was.

The London Two North West game was in the balance until those final moments and had supporters at a blustery and chilly Hobbs Way chewing on their fingernails.

The weather conditions also meant it was an attritional game with free-flowing attacking rugby almost impossible at times.

The first half hour saw both teams trying to adapt and the only score in that period was a penalty in front of the posts for the visitors.

Welwyn finally got on the board with the first try of the afternoon.

Having found good field position with a line-out close to the visitors’ line, three good driving mauls from the pack eventually released second row Antonio Denton to cross the line out wide.

And it became 12-3 on the stroke of half-time with a first try for the club from centre Vetaia Kawea who stepped past two defenders in midfield to score.

Dave Fennell added the extras.

The second period didn’t start well for the hosts with Grasshoppers kicking another penalty from in front of the uprights.

And although the home side had plenty of the ball, no further points were added although there were opportunities.

One such instance saw skipper Will Freeston opt for a kick to the corner instead of at the sticks, a decision which had some in the crowd wondering if that was the best idea.

But Grasshoppers remained just six points behind until those final two minutes.

The first try saw the returning Aaron Chandler step outside his opposite number before passing back inside to release winger Adam Harcourt.

An excellent conversion by Chris Kemp saw Welwyn increase their lead and with relief pouring out into the cold air they grabbed a bonus point.

A loose ball was snapped up by Harry Gillespie who showed great pace in outstripping the covering defenders to score from 90 metres out.

Kemp again added the conversion to send the very wet crowd back into the warmth of the clubhouse with smiles on their faces.

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