Welwyn pay late penalty against Chiswick but take heart from impressive performance

PUBLISHED: 17:32 25 March 2019 | UPDATED: 17:37 25 March 2019

Daniel Comben tries to break through in the match between Welwyn RFC v Chiswick. Picture: DANNY LOO

Daniel Comben tries to break through in the match between Welwyn RFC v Chiswick. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2019 Archant

Welwyn slipped to an agonising 20-17 defeat at home to Chiswick with a last-gasp penalty stealing the points for the visitors.

Dave Fennell is caught by a high tackle in the match between Welwyn RFC v Chiswick. Picture: DANNY LOODave Fennell is caught by a high tackle in the match between Welwyn RFC v Chiswick. Picture: DANNY LOO

It was always going to be a difficult fixture against the third-place Londoners, who following the success remain in with a sniff of the London Two promotion play-offs, but while Welwyn will be disappointed to have lost, they can take some comfort from a performance which was as good as any that they have delivered this season.

Welwyn are halted by a high tackle in the match between Welwyn RFC v Chiswick. Picture: DANNY LOOWelwyn are halted by a high tackle in the match between Welwyn RFC v Chiswick. Picture: DANNY LOO

This was a game that Welwyn could, and probably should have won, but victory just eluded them in the last seconds of the game when a final pass frustratingly did not go to hand.

Philip Grehan holds up a tackle in the match between Welwyn RFC v Chiswick. Picture: DANNY LOOPhilip Grehan holds up a tackle in the match between Welwyn RFC v Chiswick. Picture: DANNY LOO

On the positive side, a new half-back combination of Chris Kemp at scrum-half and Yourgos Alexander at fly-half worked well and bodes well for the future.

Harry Gillespie cuts inside his man in the match between Welwyn RFC v Chiswick. Picture: DANNY LOOHarry Gillespie cuts inside his man in the match between Welwyn RFC v Chiswick. Picture: DANNY LOO

The first half was keenly contested and slightly feisty at times but it remained scoreless until just before half time.

Dave Fennell is tackled in the match between Welwyn RFC v Chiswick. Picture: DANNY LOODave Fennell is tackled in the match between Welwyn RFC v Chiswick. Picture: DANNY LOO

A Chiswick penalty was kicked to the corner and although the ball appeared to have gone dead, the visitors were awarded a five-metre line-out.

Philip Grehan slips a tackle in the match between Welwyn RFC v Chiswick. Picture: DANNY LOOPhilip Grehan slips a tackle in the match between Welwyn RFC v Chiswick. Picture: DANNY LOO

And a well-executed catch and drive put them over in the corner for a 5-0 advantage at the break.

Adam Harcourt is brought down on the line in the match between Welwyn RFC v Chiswick. Picture: DANNY LOOAdam Harcourt is brought down on the line in the match between Welwyn RFC v Chiswick. Picture: DANNY LOO

Kemp put Welwyn on the board shortly after the restart with a well-struck penalty and both sides missed further kickable penalties in the following minutes.

James Tan carries forward in the match between Welwyn RFC v Chiswick. Picture: DANNY LOOJames Tan carries forward in the match between Welwyn RFC v Chiswick. Picture: DANNY LOO

Chiswick though did have another try to celebrate thanks to another catch and drive and this time it was converted.

Yourgos Alexander takes a hit in the match between Welwyn RFC v Chiswick. Picture: DANNY LOOYourgos Alexander takes a hit in the match between Welwyn RFC v Chiswick. Picture: DANNY LOO

However, Welwyn responded well with a lovely try, created after several phases of possession that eventually saw the ball moved left for Vitaea Kawea to speed through the stretched defence and Kemp add the extras.

Vetaia Kawea looks to avoid a tackle in the match between Welwyn RFC v Chiswick. Picture: DANNY LOOVetaia Kawea looks to avoid a tackle in the match between Welwyn RFC v Chiswick. Picture: DANNY LOO

And even though the wind was taken out of Welwyn’s sails a minute later by an unconverted Chiswick try, the hosts continued to impress and enjoyed their best spell of the game.

Philip Grehan races clear in the match between Welwyn RFC v Chiswick. Picture: DANNY LOOPhilip Grehan races clear in the match between Welwyn RFC v Chiswick. Picture: DANNY LOO

With five minutes to go Josh Milton took a crash ball from a ruck 10 with such pace and power that the defence was never going to stop him.

Vetaia Kawea makes a tackle in the match between Welwyn RFC v Chiswick. Picture: DANNY LOOVetaia Kawea makes a tackle in the match between Welwyn RFC v Chiswick. Picture: DANNY LOO

Kemp again added the conversion and the match was tied up at 17-17 but with added time being played a penalty right in front of the posts put Chiswick ahead for the final time.

Vetaia Kawea makes a tackle in the match between Welwyn RFC v Chiswick. Picture: DANNY LOOVetaia Kawea makes a tackle in the match between Welwyn RFC v Chiswick. Picture: DANNY LOO

There was still time though for Welwyn to pound Chiswick’s line but after finally working an overlap, the final pass went to ground and with it the chance of a home win.

Vetaia Kawea makes a tackle in the match between Welwyn RFC v Chiswick. Picture: DANNY LOOVetaia Kawea makes a tackle in the match between Welwyn RFC v Chiswick. Picture: DANNY LOO

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