London 1N 12 October 2019

Two wins in a row lifts Harps into seventh

Harpenden 30 Amersham and Chiltern 15

Harpenden produced an excellent performance for the second week running to notch up an impressive victory against Amersham and Chiltern. The win – their third of the season - lifts them into seventh place in London One North, two places below Southend Saxons to whom they travel on Saturday. After an even start full-back Tom Sweeney give Harps the lead on five minutes with a penalty kick before adding a second on 10 minutes. The visitors then hit back with a penalty of their own from stand-off Nat Hocking on 23 minutes. With both sets of defences continuing to hold firm, the prospect of even a single try seemed remote for a long time. But on 38 minutes centre Matt Deane broke the deadlock with a sweet try following a great break by stand-off Tom Stagg. And almost immediately wing Conor McClean kicked on a spilt ball before winning the race to touch down under the posts. Sweeney converted both scores to give Harps a healthy 20-3 lead at the break.

Amersham and Chiltern continued to make a real fight of it and were rewarded with a try on 55 minutes when their Kiwi prop Lachlan Collier popped up on the left wing to touch down in the corner. Sweeney continued his excellent afternoon with the boot to add a third penalty on 61 minutes as Harps ramped up the pressure again. But despite being awarded a series of penalties close to the Amersham and Chiltern try line, they could find no way through. They eventually breached the visitors’ defence again on 72 minutes with a try from replacement scrum-half Henry Simcott, who had come one for the injured Fred Gulliford. It was duly converted by Sweeney.

But any thoughts of a try bonus point evaporated as Amersham and Chiltern went on the offensive and were rewarded with a try from centre Lloyd Anderson shortly before the final whistle. Harps skipper Oli Lacey said: “I’m really happy with the result. Once again it was our defence that won us the game because we were under a lot of pressure after we had gone 6-3 up. However, we managed to keep them out. “The only disappointment was letting them back into the game in the final minutes when we were looking for a bonus point. This area of our game is something that we’ll be working on in training ahead of our trip to Southend.”

Harpenden: Sweeney, McClean, Deane, Tane, Hague-Blundy; Stagg, Gulliford; McLoughlin, McSporran, Campion, Rolfe, Lacey, Gue, Speirs, Wheatley. Replacements: Renwick, Simcott, Sims.