Harpenden banished memories of their nightmare defeat at the Honourable Artillery Company by coming from behind to beat London Nigerian 31-19.

The victory lifts them into ninth place in London Two North West and with their confidence riding high again are well placed to climb further away from the drop zone.

Harps got off to the worst possible start when they allowed Sam Moorby to race through their defence on five minutes to touch down under the posts.

Although Harps centre Tom Stagg kicked a penalty shortly afterwards, Nigerian extended their lead on12 minutes when Caolan Cotter exploited Harps’ defensive frailties with a try.

After Stagg had kicked another penalty, Ed Preston touched down after left wing Ash Smith had pounced on precision chip ahead by stand-off Ollie Mann.

Turning round 12-11 behind, Harps tightened the screw early in the second half with two more Stagg penalties before Mann raced over for a great try made by a run and pass by right wing Adam Wilkinson.

The hosts were awarded a penalty try late on after the visitors had conceded a series of penalties at the scrum. And although Joe Harris pulled back a try for the Londoners shortly before the end, Harps finished well in control.

Skipper Oli Lacey said: “It took us a while to get going because they really flew out of the blocks. It was only when we were two tries down that we started to warm up, and in the second half we were doing what we wanted to do.

"This victory sets us up well for our next two games (Tabard on 10 December and Stockwood Park 17 December) which are definitely winnable.”