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Harpenden ease to Hemel Hempstead win
9:40am Wednesday 18th September 2013 in Local Sport
Harpenden RFC got their season off to an ideal start thrashing recent bogey team Hemel Hempstead 48-0.
In beating last season’s London Two North West runners up so comprehensively, they fired a chilling warning to all their rivals that on this display they will be serious contenders for championship glory.
With the whole pack, and back row in particular, putting in a great shift, Harpenden’s speedy backs frequently enjoyed a feast of possession which they used to lethal effect.
Harp went ahead after just three minutes when the ball was worked wide from a scrum on the half way line to left wing Adam Stirling who touched down.
Hemel tried hard to hit back immediately but after soaking up the pressure, Harpenden went further ahead on 19 minutes when scrum-half John Collins scored a try under the posts after a good break by skipper Adam Wheatley.
Prop Nick Chichester Miles crashed over in the right hand corner following a line out close to the Hemel line.
Turning round 19-0 ahead, Harps went further ahead on 47 minutes with a Collins penalty.
Hemel then piled on enormous pressure and probably should have scored after winning a succession of penalties close to Harps’ line.
But despite seeing powerful lock Ed Preston sin binned, Harpenden held firm and soaked up everything their hosts could throw at them, Collins secured the bonus point on 70 minutes with a try after a break by Dave Green.
Flanker Green capped a fine performance with a try of his own on 74 minutes after a move involving Stirling and replacement wing Fergus Cox.
And four minutes later Cox scored himself after a great break by Stirling and centre Nick Childs.
In the final minute Jack Haddock went over for Harps’ seventh try, which man-of-the-match Collins duly converted for his fifth successful conversion attempt of the afternoon.
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