Welwyn still very much up for the fight despite falling to agonising Hampstead loss
PUBLISHED: 12:33 27 January 2020 | UPDATED: 12:33 27 January 2020
Welwyn showed there is still plenty of life in their battle against relegation even if all their efforts only resulted in an 18-17 loss at home to Hampstead.
This was a vastly-improved performance than of late against a Hampstead side who are perennial challengers at the top end of the London Two North West table and started this game lying fourth.
The Hobbs Way-based rugby club remain 11th, one place above basement side Luton and seven points behind Hackney above them.
Hampstead took the lead in their first attack of the game but Welwyn equalised on 12 minutes after a good scrum allowed Dave Wells to release Ollie Di-Lieto to score in the corner.
Di-Lieto normally plays in the back row but he has the hands of a centre and filled in admirably in an unfamiliar position on the right wing.
Another solid Welwyn scrum after 20 minutes allowed Wells to pick up and find the backs in a good attacking position.
The ball was duly moved left with a cleaver pass back inside from Rory Harcourt to brother Adam putting the skipper over in the corner.
Hampstead came back though as their scrum started to dominate and they were rewarded with a try out wide to level the scores at 10-10 at half-time.
Five minutes into the second half, Welwyn lost centre Vetaia Kawea to the sin bin for a team offence and from the resulting penalty allowed the visitors to nudge ahead again.
Five minutes later, they scored out wide to extend their lead to 18-10 but with half an hour still to play, this proved to be the visitors' final score of the match.
And from there Welwyn produced a brave resistance.
They were back to within a point shortly after as powerhouse prop Dan Comben crashed over for a try that was converted by Ben Osgood.
And they continued to dominate possession but were unable to snatch a score of any kind that would have given them the victory.
Coach Gareth Hughes said afterwards that he was very proud of the way his team had performed while naturally frustrated that they had been unable to land the killer blow in the last quarter of the match.
Welwyn go to third-place Chiswick on Saturday.