It’s an Ell of a show from Lowe as UCS Old Boys defeat Hampstead
11:20 11 March 2014
Elliot Lowe scored a hat-trick as UCS continued their bid to stage the greatest of escapes, overcoming local rivals Hampstead to post their fourth win from six games.
The Old Boys looked doomed to relegation at the end of 2013, lying bottom of the league and a massive 18 points from safety.
However, a sharp upturn in results has closed the gap to eight points, giving them a fighting chance of survival with three games to go.
Alex Lowe was the hero in last week’s victory at HAC, scoring two tries and a further three kicks – and his brother Elliot led the way against Hampstead on Saturday, touching down three times in the first half to leave the hosts 28-5 ahead.
UCS endured a major scare after the interval as Hampstead fought back with four tries, but they held on to secure a valuable victory.
Hampstead’s kick-off failed to go 10 metres, gifting UCS a scrum on the halfway line, and Damir Jovanovic’s pick and go took the hosts upfield.
The Old Boys were soon applying pressure inside the 22 and, after some slick hands down the blind side, Elliot Lowe rode the full-back’s and went over in the left corner to open the scoring.
UCS added three more points a couple of minutes later but Hampstead hit back, kicking a penalty into touch to win an attacking line-out, before a strong drive created the space for Joe Brawn to cross the whitewash, with Dan Dimoline converting.
Back at the other end, UCS were awarded a five-metre scrum, and they pushed forward to within touching distance of the line.
Hampstead were able to disrupt the scrum and the ball shot out the back, but Alex Lowe produced an inventive flick to roll the ball to his sibling Elliot, who was able to gather the ball on the left wing and dot down in the corner.
UCS’s set pieces performed well all day, and they drove forward from another scrum on Hampstead’s five-metre line, with Jovanovic and James May keeping the Old Boys moving forward before Ahmed Ghanem broke a tackle and crashed over.
Elliot Lowe then latched onto an effective kick through and dived on the ball to complete a first-half hat-trick and give UCS a commanding 28-5 lead at the interval.
However, Hampstead came out strongly after the break, scoring three tries without reply.
Pete Evans began the fightback, and Dave Mold also crossed the line before Will Pettit touched down for the way team.
However, a loose pass from the visiting fly-half led to a knock-on by their centre, and Alex Lowe was able to gather the ball and race 60 metres to extend the gap again.
Hampstead refused to give up and Evans got his second try, while Dimoline slotted his fifth conversion out of five attempts, to narrow the gasp to three points.
But Tom McAviney made a couple of crucial tackles as UCS held on to close in on 10th-placed Hemel Hempstead, who lost 25-24 at home against HAC.