Impressive run brought to an end as Welwyn pay the penalty at Enfield Ignatians
PUBLISHED: 12:16 05 November 2018
Welwyn's impressive form in London Two North West hit a speed bump as their trip to Enfield Ignatians ended in an 18-14 defeat.
The Hobbs Way-based rugby club had travelled south lying second in the table, level on points with leaders Belsize Park.
But although that’s where they remain, this loss has allowed the teams below them to close the gap.
Their downfall at Donkey Hill was a failure to get on the referee’s wavelength at the breakdown, something that led to numerous penalties going against them.
They had started promisingly though, with the confidence of their recent run well in evidence, and after just 10 minutes they led 14-3.
The first arrived with four minutes on the clock, a solid scrum in front of the posts allowing Harry Gillespie to the chance to race through a gap and touch down close to the posts.
The second followed a kick to the corner which after being driven towards the line, Chris Kemp sped away from the Enfield defence before adding his second successful conversion.
The hosts had managed a penalty in between these scores and the referee’s whistle soon took over proceedings with Welwyn picking up one of two more penalties against them than Enfield.
A yellow card for Conor Boland just before half time left Welwyn a man short for 10 minutes and with a slight slope and strong win slightly in their favour, the home side started the second half much better.
A textbook catch and drive from a line-out after two minutes saw them gallop over for an unconverted score and on 58 minutes they led and with another well-worked drive sending them over.
The gap remained at just a point for most of the game until a final penalty confirmed the home win.
Coach Gareth Hughes admitted his side need to improve where the man in the middle is concerned but was still pleased despite the defeat.
He said: “We didn’t adapt to the referee’s interpretation of the breakdown which led to us giving away numerous penalties which Enfield exploited.
“But we played some good stuff in the opening 20 minutes and still remain second.
“And the squad believes in its ability to come back stronger. We now have three weeks which we will use as a mini pre-season and will come back with a bang against Chiswick.”