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Harpenden beaten by Hampstead
9:50am Thursday 28th February 2013 in Local Sport
Harpenden suffered a 17-10 defeat at Hampstead in London NW Two.
The visitors found themselves falling victim to a soft try after just ten minutes when back row forward Lewis Hazelton crossed the line. Hampstead fly-half Morgan Cohens duly converted the extra points.
A few minutes later, number eight John Beswick was credited with a further try for the home team though Harpenden’s coach James Alvis may have been justified in feeling the touchdown should not have been awarded.
Hampstead’s fly-half had a lucky break when his kick hit the upright and was diverted over the bar to give the home team an early 14-point lead.
Once the effects of the journey had worn off, Harpenden’s forwards looked capable of giving Hampstead a contest backed up by the new half back pairing of ‘Stitch’ Payne and Jack Haddock, both of whom had reasonable games.
Following a spell of pressure near the Hampstead 22 metre line, with Payne probing here and there, Andy Read went over from the back row for a deserved score which centre Aaron Wilde converted.
At this stage, there was sympathy for stand-in full-back Tom Muskett languishing in the freezing cold wind, crying out for a chance to have a go at the opposition with ball in hand.
Nevertheless, from the restart Harpenden seemed to have improved by 50 per cent. The rucking was fiercer, the lineout men of Nigel Stanley and Ed Preston got more possession and the backs attempted to throw the ball around.
Having conceded another penalty that was successfully struck by left-footed Cohens, Harpenden’s Aaron Wilde had a chance to get even.
He was unlucky with a kick that soared just over the right upright. When the next penalty was awarded, up stepped Haddock who took the chance to get his team another three points. Harpenden were now so near yet so far away. In a match that should have been won when a number of penalties were given in their favour, time and again Harpenden took the wrong option and as a result they threw away chance after chance of securing the win.