Harpenden notched up their second double of the season with a convincing bonus point win at Amersham and Chiltern. The victory – their eleventh of the season during which they have achieved 10 try bonus points – keeps them firmly in sixth place in London One North. Harps opened the scoring following a series of pick and drives which ended with number eight Michael Goode getting over for a try, which was converted by full back Tom Sweeney. Goode was involved in the second try, making an initial break in Harps’ own half, which was carried on by flankers Bobby Tane and Matt Jillians before scrum half Fred Gulliford got the touch down. Sweeney converted.
Sweeney then got on the scoresheet himself when the ball came out to him from a five-metre scrum and he was able to cut through to score a try, which he duly converted. Unfortunately, Chiltern lost centre Nat Hockings with a nasty injury. Although he was able to walk from the pitch, it is understood that he was subsequently found to have three fractures in his neck and will be in hospital for at least a week. All at Harpenden wish him a speedy recovery.
Harps got the try bonus point 10 minutes into the second half when they kicked to touch from a penalty and set up a driving maul, which the home side were unable to stop. The scorer was new tight head prop signing Bash Mahmood. On this occasion, Sweeney missed the conversion. Following that, Harps brought on all three replacements for Pete Sims, Adam Wilkinson and Sweeney.
Harps’ final score came when right wing Will Hague-Blundy made a good run down his wing to get over in the corner. New signing Declan Raubenheimer, who had a good debut at stand-off, took over the kicking duties from Sweeney, but was unable to convert from out wide. Chiltern continued to try to get back into the game and were given added impetus when Harps replacement full back Henry Simcott received a yellow card and number eight Jason Kilby was able to break through on the left side to score a try. But Harps reorganised and the home side were unable to add further points.
It was an excellent day throughout the club as the second and third teams cemented their positions at the top of their respective leagues. The second XV beat Tring seconds 28-20 in a hard-fought match and the thirds had a 30-7 win over UCSOBs 2nd XV. And the Ladies XV made it four out of four on Sunday with a 43-5 victory over Towcester Roses. Clearly it all bodes well for the ongoing success of the club.
Harps first XV entertain Southend Saxons on Saturday. Kick-off 3pm.
Harpenden: Sweeney, Wilkinson, Deane, McClean, Hague-Blundy; Raubenheimer, Gulliford; Mahmood, Sims, Campion, Rolfe, Lacey, Jillians, Tane, Goode. Replacements: Govier, McSporran, Simcott.