2:50pm Wednesday 9th October 2013
Harpenden RFC's second-half revival could not prevent a 36-26 home defeat to Honourable Artillery Company.
Without their captain at the helm and with probably over half their main squad players absent, the last thing Harpenden wanted was to have two players yellow-carded at vital moments of the match.
Although 31 points adrift at half-time, and resilient enough to make a second-half recovery, the home team’s response proved in vain.
With 15 minutes gone, HAC scrum half, Shane Feeny took a quick tap penalty on the Harpenden 22 that resulted in a converted try under the posts. Four more tries gave the false impression that HAC were going to walk away with the game after half-time.
Turning round 31 points down, Harp hadn’t done themselves any favours but the side showed great team spirit.
First to score from an opportunist try was full-back Simon Payne who placed the ball in an ideal position for centre Jannick Green to convert.
A brilliant burst of speed from scrum half John Collins gave right wing Tristan Francis the chance to run in a simple score that Green again converted.
The Harpenden pack began to believe in themselves again, something that was sadly lacking in the second quarter of the first half.
The loss of Jackson Cooper Wall and Dave Green at vital stages of the match upset the forward momentum, in particular in the case of the former, and it took a long time to get the pack up and running again.
A lapse of concentration let in HAC for one more try before Harpenden moved into fifth gear and replied with two more scores from Jack Haddock – one following a strong run by prop Max Newlan and Mark Lewis.
In the end, Harpenden had to accept defeat from a match where they should have come away with more than just one bonus point.
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