Welwyn's poor season ends in defeat at Eton Manor

PUBLISHED: 17:57 21 April 2009 | UPDATED: 22:12 26 October 2009

London 2 North Eton Manor 30 Welwyn 12 WELWYN signed off their London 2 North season in typical fashion – falling to yet another defeat. Early play moved from end to end with penalties being awarded against both sides. Welwyn drove the ball forward to m

London 2 North

Eton Manor 30 Welwyn 12

WELWYN signed off their London 2 North season in typical fashion - falling to yet another defeat.

Early play moved from end to end with penalties being awarded against both sides.

Welwyn drove the ball forward to midway but play was then stopped because centre, Kyle Birkin, was punched on the side of the face by an opponent.

The referee saw the incident and Eton Manor were duly penalised but inexplicably the offender was not shown a card of either colour.

Kyle played on but had to be replaced shortly afterwards by Nick Jones.

It was later discovered that the punch had caused multiple fractures to the side of the face, including a broken cheekbone and damage to the eye socket that will need surgery to repair.

Welwyn were penalised for going through the resulting line and Eton Manor kicked the penalty to give them a 3-0 lead after 28 minutes play.

From the restart Manor knocked the ball on near their 22 metre line and from the scrum Kris Birkin chipped the ball ahead but found it returned to halfway.

Wayne Child gathered the ball and made a strong drive through the home side's defence and won a penalty on the 22 to the left of the posts.

Unfortunately the wind did not bring the ball back far enough and the kick missed narrowly to the right of the posts.

Manor then won a lineout and moved the ball quickly to the right, creating an overlap for their captain to barge through and score.

The conversion was missed but the home side's lead was increased to 8-0.

There was a disastrous start to the second half with Welwyn conceding a scrum on halfway when the kick did not go 10 metres.

Eton Manor gained possession and worked the ball forward through their backs allowing the winger to score in the corner on their left.

Again the conversion was missed.

The Welwyn forwards were continuing to hold their own, although the pressure from the bigger Eton Manor forwards was starting to tell.

The pressure continued to build on the visitors and eventually Eton Manor broke through to score an unconverted try to increase their lead to 18-0 on the hour.

Owen Hopley was then yellow carded for entering a ruck from the side.

A tap penalty was taken but the home side lost possession and Wayne Child put in a long clearance.

The ball was collected by one of the Eton Manor players who almost succeeded in running right through the visitors' defence and a try was avoided only by an excellent tackle by winger James Wells from which the ball went forward.

The ball was cleared, however the home side maintained their pressure and one of their centres dummied through to score under the posts after 70 minutes of play.

The attempted conversion struck the post and came back out but the lead was increased to 23-0.

The visitors continued to battle and their heads did not drop, despite having Rory Page sin-binned for handling in a ruck.

With only 13 players on the field, they drove upfield and, when Manor were penalised, prop Grant Keeler was able to crash over about halfway out on the right.

The conversion was missed but after 73 minutes play Welwyn were finally and deservedly on the scoreboard at 23-5.

Unfortunately, Eton Manor scored straight from the restart to increase their lead to 30-5.

Welwyn continued to drive the ball forward and in the final moments the ball was moved to the right.

An overlap allowed Child to slice through the defence and score under the posts giving Gareth Hughes an easy conversion and making the final score 30-12.


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