Welwyn and St Albans serve up thriller as fleet-footed wingers enjoy fruitful day
PUBLISHED: 09:22 25 September 2017 | UPDATED: 10:10 25 September 2017
Five tries from winger Adam Harcourt was just one highlight from a remarkable game of rugby which saw Welwyn and St Albans score 16 tries between them - but Welwyn claim the spoils in a 64-38 win.
Harcourt’s fellow wide man Aaron Chandler scored another three with brother Rory kicking seven conversions.
Dave Wells and Brad Lack, making only his second appearance in Welwyn’s first team, got the other two tries.
Harcourt and Will Alcott traded tries in a breathless start to the game but a yellow card to the hosts’ Fraser Morris on 10 minutes, binned for an offside offence, proved pivotal.
That man advantage saw Welwyn run in four tries, Wells getting the bonus-point score with just 18 minutes on the clock.
They added two more before the break but so to did St Albans as the teams turned round with the visitors leading 45-19.
Whatever was said at half time by the St Albans coaches clearly worked, as they chipped away at the Welwyn lead with strong forward play led by veterans John Sayers and Joe Shaw.
With 20 minutes left to play the home side were dominant in the set pieces and were only 12 points adrift at 50-38.
Welwyn emptied their bench bringing on Henry Fee, Ben Osgood and Chris Sloan but were reduced to 14 men when Dan Webb was adjudged to have been the aggressor in a minor disagreement between the teams.
But a worrying 15-minute spell for the travelling Welwyn faithful was brought to an end when the visitors scored two late tries.
There is still much for the Welwyn coaches to work on, particularly in the set pieces, but this was an excellent display by the team with superb running rugby and support play.
Justin Burgess, founder of the JOCA (Just One Click Away) charity, spoke at the club lunch.
JOCA was set up after the loss of three young Welwyn players and offers support, guidance and a friendly ear in a time of need.
Mental illness is an often unspoken about issue but is the biggest killer of young men in the UK aged 22 to 42 and £650 was raised which will go to fund JOCA’s own counsellor.
A spokesman for St Albans said: “St Albans RFC and JOCA would like to thank the main contributors to the day, Norton Gym, Lotte Clapp and Saracens Womens and Patrick Falvey PT.”