Welwyn draw on positives as battle with Belsize Park ends in rare scoreless draw
PUBLISHED: 16:00 26 September 2018
Welwyn battled to a rare 0-0 draw with Belsize Park in London Two North West in a match more entertaining than the blank scoreline might suggest.
Both sides contributed to a high quality game of rugby, showing good levels of skill in difficult, wet conditions.
Hardly a tackle was missed all game and scoring opportunities were few and far between.
Welwyn had two penalty kicks at goal in the last 10 minutes which would have seen them snatch a remarkable victory, but sadly it was not to be.
But a draw was probably a fair result for the considerable effort put in by both teams.
Despite the persistent rain, a good crowd enjoyed a thrilling encounter as unbeaten Belsize Park had by far the best of the opening 20 minutes.
Welwyn’s defence held firm, though, and the second period of the first half saw the home side come right back into the game.
But despite a speculative long penalty attempt with the last kick of the half, the sides turned round with the scoreboard still blank.
Five minutes into the second half, tearaway wing forward Josh Milton was yellow carded for an infringement at a ruck close to the Welwyn line.
But Welwyn’s 14 men upped their game and managed to get through the 10 minutes without conceding, as the visitors suffered a couple of injuries which may have disrupted their efforts.
The closing period of the game was dominated by Welwyn as fly-half Phil Grehan put a clever grubber kick behind the visiting defence and Dave Fennell nearly won the foot race.
In the final 10 minutes of the game, Welwyn skipper William Freeston elected to kick at goal when awarded two penalties, knowing a single score might win the match. Unfortunately both kicks drifted narrowly wide and the referee’s whistle brought a thrilling contest to an end with honours even.
Most players and spectators were left wondering when they had last been part of a scoreless draw, a rare result indeed, particularly in the modern era.
Next week Welwyn travel to neighbours Harpenden for a fixture which will mark the official opening by the RFU of their new artificial grass pitch in what promises to be another exciting encounter.