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Brave effort but Hampstead are defeated by Old Priorians

11:49 21 January 2014

Dan Dimoline (left) kicked three penalties for Hampstead. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Dan Dimoline (left) kicked three penalties for Hampstead. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Archant

Hampstead put in a strong performance against high-flying Old Priorians, but defensive lapses and an inability to convert pressure into points resulted in a 29-9 home defeat in London North-West Division Two.

A rare dry day meant conditions were good for rugby, but that didn’t stop the home team making a hash of the kick-off and conceding a try in less than a minute.

Heads could have dropped, but Hampstead came back strongly and two penalties from Dan Dimoline quickly put them into the lead.

More pressure followed from the hosts, with debutant fly-half Mike Griffiths pulling the strings – and they created a number of chances but couldn’t finish anything off as Old Priorians’ defence stood firm.

The away team, sitting second in the league, then showed their class by scoring two quick tries – both coming from Hampstead errors – before Dimoline struck back with another penalty to leave the home team 15-9 down at the break.

The second half followed a similar pattern, with Hampstead showing much promise but failing to convert their pressure – and Old Priorians scored two converted tries late on to kill off the game.

Hampstead have now played many of the league’s top teams both home and away, and they have set their focus on beating the sides around them in the table in the coming weeks, starting with Saturday’s trip to Harpenden.

“We’re in a much better place than we have been all season,” said stand-in captain Andy McEwen. “We’re together as a squad, training is going well and it’s just a matter of time before we start getting the wins we deserve.”

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