Welwyn take battle for fourth place to the final day with battling victory over Hemel Hempstead

PUBLISHED: 17:04 02 April 2019

Ollie Di-Lieto scored twice for Welwyn in their win over Hemel Hempstead. Picture: DANNY LOO

Ollie Di-Lieto scored twice for Welwyn in their win over Hemel Hempstead. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2018 Danny Loo Photography - all rights reserved

Welwyn remain in with a shout of a top four finish after a 32-22 success over Hemel Hempstead.

The Hobbs Way-based rugby club are sixth at the moment but only three points behind their visitors in fourth with just one game to go.

That match in London Two North West is at Hampstead on Saturday, the team sitting one place above them.

The victory over Hemel was built on an amazing defesive effort in the opening 20 minutes.

The visitors pounded the home line but excellent defence kept them out.

Welwyn even had to survive a 10-minute spell with just 14 men after Yourgos Alexander was shown a yellow card.

Yet somehow they came out of that period with a 3-0 lead, courtesy of Chris Kemp’s penalty, and by half time they 15-0 to the good.

The first of the two tries was a beauty. Dave Wells picked up from the base of the scrum and the ball went through the hands of Kemp and Adam Harcourt before Ollie Di-Lieto raced over from 20 metres.

Kemp converted that one although he was off target shortly after when Phil Grehan and Wells combined for Vitaea Kawea to find a gap and score.

Hemel’s first-half frustrations were summed up by an impressive try-saving tackle from Jack Lynch on 35 minutes prior to the two Welwyn scores and it got worse before it got better with Di-Lieto’s second of the match after the break.

They did respond though and a strong finish had the nerves of some among the big home crowd jangling.

Well-executed line-outs brought two tries for Connor Boyd-Barnes but a penalty try gave Welwyn a bonus point and some breathing space.

Hemel were the last to score with another try but by that point Kemp had added one more penalty to secure the win.

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