Welwyn taste league defeat for first time
PUBLISHED: 17:23 06 November 2012 | UPDATED: 17:28 06 November 2012
WELWYN fell to their first defeat of the London 3 North West season against unbeaten league leaders Old Priorians.
This was the first time that Welwyn had visited Old Priorians, a team that has moved up through the league in recent years and is currently leading London 3NW.
The first score of the game came when Priorians switched direction to the right and returned again to the left wing where the winger beat the cover and his inside pass allowed an easy try under the posts. This was converted giving the hosts a 7-0 lead after four minutes play.
After 19 minutes Welwyn were penalised in the centre of the pitch for not rolling away from a tackle and the Priorians full-back slotted over the penalty to increase their lead to 10-0.
Welwyn gained possession and were pushing the opposition up to the try line when the ball came out of the scrum and Welwyn knocked the ball forward.
From the restart the home team gained possession and were able to make ground to the left but the final pass to the wing went into touch about 5m out. The ball was cleared from the scrum by Gareth Hughes but his kick failed to find touch and was returned by the full back who moved the ball over to the right and Welwyn were again penalised, about 30m out to the right of the posts.
The full-back converted the kick increasing the home team lead to 13-0.
Priorians were later penalised about 10m from the line.
The visitors opted for a scrum and after advancing several yards Rob Picken broke away and charged over for a well-deserved try that Owen Doyle converted bringing the score to 13-7.
The second period started with a good driving movement from Joe Burns followed up by Rory Page, but a kick ahead was fielded and returned into touch on half way.
Welwyn were soon awarded a penalty some 5m into the Priorians half and to the right of the posts.
The ambitious kick had the length but went wide to the left.
Priorians attacked from a penalty kick into the 22m and worked the ball to the left but the move was halted by a crunching tackle by Scott Clewlow that knocked the ball forward.
The ball was driven forward by Welwyn from the scrum, but possession was lost to Priorians who moved the ball to the left.
A good break resulted in a try to the left of the posts with 15 minutes remaining the kick failed, but the home team lead had now increased to 18-7.
This, not surprisingly put new life into Priorians who attacked Welwyn with a series of back movements ending, with the ball being worked out to the right where the winger had enough space to cross the line and move close enough to the posts for the full-back to slot over the conversion.
With less than 10 minutes remaining the home team now led by 25-7.
Despite charging runs by Burns, Picken and Peter Elliott, the line remained uncrossed until Priorians moved offside and Welwyn took the scrum about 7m out on the left.
They won the ball comfortably and this time the drive was continued up to the line allowing Picken to gather the ball and dive over under the forwards.
Doyle knocked over the penalty with the last act of the game to leave Old Priorians 25-14 winners.
The score flattered the home side who may well go on to win the league from this point but they will not look forward to the return fixture in February.
Welwyn can take a lot of positives from the defeat and, if their first attempt at a push over try had been successful, the final outcome could have been very different.