Welwyn exit Senior Vase with away defeat at Beccles

PUBLISHED: 17:30 13 November 2012

Welwyn RFC crest

Welwyn RFC crest


AN under-strength Welwyn exited the London & SE Senior Vase at the second round stage after a 27-8 defeat away to Beccles.

With several changes to the side due to injury and unavailability, the day started poorly with the team coach being delayed by a 30-minute detour due to an accident and it took the visitors a long while to get into the game.

A light drizzle throughout made handling difficult and unsympathetic passing saw Welwyn making numerous handling errors.

Beccles were awarded a very kickable penalty early on but elected to take a scrum.

Getting no change out of the strong Welwyn pack, they changed their tactics and chose to kick at goal from a penalty in the same position soon afterwards.

This was converted to take Beccles into an early lead. Tom Atfield was then forced to leave the field with a recurrence of his shoulder problem and was replaced by Sam Voight who put in a solid performance at blind side flanker.

After an undistinguished half hour of play, Beccles added a further penalty to take their lead to six points, before Pat Lynch replied on behalf of the visitors to make the score 6-3 at half-time.

Ed Whitham replaced Joe Brace at half time and having finally got the long coach journey out of their system, Welwyn started the second half in confident mood. After six minutes, however, Welwyn tried to run the ball out of their own 22 but a pass was intercepted by the Beccles centre, who ran in unopposed to score from 30 metres out. A good conversion gave Beccles a healthy 13-3 lead.

Soon afterwards, Beccles’ dangerous No.8 drove over from an attacking scrum to score a try which was converted to put Beccles 20-3 ahead with 20 minutes left to play.

Welwyn refused to throw in the towel and created several half chances but poor passing consistently let them down. Late in the game, Beccles were reduced to 14 players when the referee finally lost his patience after persistent infringements and Welwyn drove the seven-man Beccles pack over the line for skipper, Rob Picken, to register Welwyn’s only try of the game.

Deep in injury-time, Welwyn were again let down by loose passing and Beccles gratefully accepted the gift of a simple try to seal their victory.

There were some positives to take from the game, including promising debuts from Ash Maxwell and Nick Morgan, a typically strong performance form Josh Hewitt and strong running from player/coach, Dene Miller.

Welwyn’s scrum and line-out worked well throughout and the forwards must be wondering how the game could be lost when they were so dominant up front. Welwyn now have an important league game at home against Finchley on Saturday, 2.30pm kick-off.

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