Welwyn into Herts Tankard Final after six-try victory

Phil Grehan for Welwyn

Phil Grehan for Welwyn - Credit: Archant

Welwyn RFC will be contesting May’s Herts Tankard Final at Allianz Park after a feisty 32-17 win over London Two North West side Hemel Camelot.

It was a tale of two scores in the opening half with good Welwyn defence keeping their higher league opposition at bay.

Against the run of play the hosts took the lead through Daniel Ashcroft’s seventh-minute try. However, he was unable to add the extras from the resulting conversion attempt.

Just as it looked like Ian Matthews’ side would go into the break maintaing their 5-0 lead, the visitors struck. Matthew Donavan powered in to get Hemel level.

With the conversion safely over from the right channel, the away side were in front at the interval.

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The tactical sparring relented somewhat in the second half as the semi-final burst into life.

A penalty try put Hemel 12-5 ahead but two quick-fire scores from Adam Harcourt, the first of his brace, and Wayne Child turned the game on it’s head at 15-12.

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The away side were in need of cool heads in order to orchestrate a comeback but their ill-discipline got the better of them, having a man sent off for an alleged headbutt.

Soon after, it was fisticuffs under the posts. The gravity of the situation was getting too much for both teams.

Phil Grehan partly calmed the nerves as the hosts made the most of the man advantage with a great overlap to score in the corner.

Gareth Hughes, in charge of kicks after the substitution of Ashcroft, successfully converted for the first time in the afternoon.

Welwyn were in the driving seat at 22-12, although there was a scare when Hemel reduced the arrears to just five points through Donavan’s second try.

Harcourt’s second score of the afternoon and Luke Dillinger’s nonchalant touchdown ensured the Hobbs Way side’s passage to the final.

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