Welwyn RFC ease London Two North West drop zone fears with victory at winless Stockwood Park
PUBLISHED: 16:02 29 November 2016 | UPDATED: 16:02 29 November 2016
Welwyn secured a third win on the trot in all competitions with a routine victory over basement club Stockwood Park.
The triumph has pushed them ever closer to the block of sides competing for mid-table positions and has lifted spirits as they head towards the important Christmas run-in.
The first score of the afternoon came after 18 minutes.
A solid scrum allowed No 8 Rob Picken to pick up and burst through a couple of tackles.
The ball was quickly recycled and moved right where skipper Phil Grehan dummied his way through a gap to score close to the posts. He converted his own try to put the visitors 7-0 ahead.
Soon afterwards, Grehan was at it again, cutting through the Stockwood Park defence. He found Rory Harcourt in support, who was high tackled close to the line by the Stockwood Park captain.
The referee deemed this worth of a penalty try and a yellow card to the home side’s No 7.
Grehan converted from in front of the posts to put Welwyn into a comfortable 14-0 lead.
Welwyn’s scrum started to come under pressure but their off-loading play in the loose kept causing problems for Park.
A kick forward by TJ Le Baigue, who had an impressive afternoon, was fly hacked by Harcourt and the ball could easily have bounced in his favour.
Unfortunately, it did not and Welwyn were content to turn around at half-time with a 14-0 lead.
Welwyn’s line-out struggled somewhat with hooker Ben Solez unable to throw due to a damaged shoulder and this denied the visitors some valuable possession.
With 25 minutes to go, Welwyn’s backs were deemed offside in front of the posts and the Park full-back converted to bring the score to 14-3.
Having defended their line stoically, Park took the attack to the visitors.
They were awarded a penalty in front of the posts but elected to scrum instead.
This came to nothing and a fabulous free-flowing move from deep in Welwyn’s 22 resulted in a try to the visitors with only 11 minutes left to play.
This effectively killed off the encounter.
Skipper Grehan again ghosted through a gap in Park’s defence and found Solez in support.
Solez had options on either side but chose to pass the ball back in-field to Grehan who released Adam Harcourt to score under the posts.
Grehan converted to bring the score to 21-3.
Towards the end of the game, both Grehan and Will Freeston incurred the wrath of the referee for one piece of advice too many and they both watched the last five minutes from the touchline.
Park capitalised on their numerical advantage by scoring in injury time from a catch and drive but Welwyn were not done yet.
Deep into injury time and with the last play of the game, Dan Ashcroft received the ball in the Welwyn half and beat several defenders to score an outstanding individual effort and reward Welwyn with a bonus point for their efforts.