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26 October 2019

Harps back to winning ways with 10-try victory

Harpenden 56 Ruislip 5

Harpenden bounced back from a heavy defeat at Southend the previous weekend to hand out a 10-try thrashing to bottom club Ruislip. The victory, which saw no less than six different players touch down, lifted them one place to seventh in London One North. The only negative aspect was that they converted just three of the scores despite using four different kickers but given the appalling weather conditions in which the match was played, some of the misses were perhaps forgivable.

Harps went ahead as early as the third minute when inside centre Bobby Tane touched under the posts and five minutes later hooker Pete Sims rumbled over for a second. With the game being played almost exclusively in the Ruislip half, Harps went further ahead on 23 minutes when scrum-half Fred Gulliford darted over for a try after a scrum - and two minutes later he added a second after a line-out near the Ruislip line to secure the try bonus point. Sims got his second try on 37 minutes when he popped up on the left wing to take a pass and with the last play of the first half tight-head prop Ben Campion touched down to give Harps a 30-0 lead at the break.

As rain swept in ever harder, Harps continued to turn the screw in the second half and were rewarded with further tries from Tane and replacement hooker Jack Murphy on 44 and 60 minutes respectively, the second of which was converted by Matt Deane. To their great credit, Ruislip never threw in the towel and were eventually rewarded when winger Mojee Frederick touched down on 70 minutes. However, it was only a temporary respite as Harpenden flanker Jimmy Speirs grabbed a brace of tries in the closing minutes. The first was converted by Deane, the second by replacement winger Jack Haddock.

Harps skipper Oli Lacey said: “This was a good all-round performance and we’re very happy to have got five points. We are a little disappointed though not to have kept a clean sheet.”

Harps have a break from action on Saturday before travelling to second-bottom Woodford on 9 November.

Harpenden: Simcott, Pennell, Deane, Tane, McClean; Hutchins, Gulliford; McLoughlin, Sims, Campion, Rolfe, Lacey, Speirs, Renwick, Jillians. Replacements: Gue, Haddock, Murphy.