Leaders Belsize Park put hiccup behind them with victory over Old Millhillians

13:15 11 March 2014

Fred House captained Belsize Park and scored two tries. Pic: Tony Gay

Fred House captained Belsize Park and scored two tries. Pic: Tony Gay


Belsize Park returned to winning ways on Saturday and kept their title charge on track, maintaining their six-point lead at the top of Herts/Middlesex Division One with four games remaining.

BP’s staggering run of 14 consecutive victories was ended by a surprise defeat at Verulamians last weekend – but they put that hiccup behind them with a 38-10 home win over Old Millhillians.

Park started very strongly straight from the whistle, with strong running from the forwards creating space for Steven Eustace to scramble over the line for the first points.

Belsize put their visitors under immense pressure, and it told again as stand-in captain Freddie House crossed the whitewash out wide.

Open-side flanker Sam Bennett was on sparkling form, effervescent at the breakdown and tackling anything that moved. His relentless poaching over the ball and ferocious mauling was too much for the away team as they failed to mount any attacking threat.

Meanwhile, Nick Lewis provided a battering ram at inside centre, and his powerful runs overwhelmed a ragged Mill Hill back line, bringing him a fine try - and House then powered through a couple of defenders to touch down for a second time and rack up a fourth unanswered try.

Some ill discipline allowed OMs to get one back through their big ball carriers, but BP were back on the front foot after the restart and winger Corey Nash cut a great line infield to finish under the posts.

Belsize lost their man of the match Bennett to a bloody injury – and they then conceded a converted try before seeing replacement back row Olly Budd sinbinned for an infringement at the breakdown.

However, tireless defending - led by props David Brown and Adam French – ensured there was no comeback.

Coach Andy Barrington said: “We look to be getting back on form and, with players returning from injury, we should be in excellent shape as we approach these last few games.”

House added: “I was pleased with the performance as I feel we are getting to where we should be as a side. However, there are no easy games left for us and no margin for error.”

It was also a good day for Belsize Park’s third team, ‘The Bulls’, who crushed London French’s second string 42-12 to finish the season undefeated in the Middlesex Merit Table Division Five.

Swiss flyer Julien Hoefflin scored a hat-trick, while Bradley Stuart, Adam Eckersley-Waites, Talfan Evans, James Allen also touched down - and Kiwi No6 Matt Abbott was named the man of the match for his brutal defence.

The victory will be welcomed by key man James Cotter, who has been the driving force behind the success this season and is currently recovering from surgery having fractured his collarbone during Saturday’s game.

Belsize will enter the semi-finals of the play-offs on March 29 as the top-ranked team as they target a second successive championship and promotion.


Latest Hampstead & Highgate Sports News

Yesterday, 17:15

Joyce Esser struck a hat-trick as Hampstead & Westminster Ladies secured their fourth victory in a row in the Women’s Conference East, beating Harleston Magpies 4-1 and leapfrogging their visitors into the top three places.

Yesterday, 16:20

Highgate Harriers’ quartet of runners held off heavyweight opposition to clinch a surprise victory in the Southern Senior Relay Championships at Wormwood Scrubs.

Yesterday, 16:04

Belsize Park remain second in the London Division Two North West table and unbeaten after scoring six tries in a commanding 40-7 victory at Stockwood Park.

Yesterday, 15:56

Middlesex’s title-winning squad gained the royal seal of approval when they were presented with the County Championship trophy at Buckingham Palace.

Yesterday, 12:05

When the board of the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust last sat down with Spurs’ hierarchy in September, the subject of domestic silverware came up.

Tue, 15:33

Paddington’s Tin-Tin Ho came agonisingly close to one of the biggest victories of her career before bowing out of the European Championships in Budapest.

Tue, 13:57

Jared Robinson scored Haringey’s seventh and final try in his last game for the club as the Rhinos halted West London’s winning start to the season and jumped into second place in the Herts/Middlesex Division Two table.

Tue, 12:33

Spurs Ladies’ latest hat-trick hero Wendy Martin says the Lilywhites are benefiting from the focus they have put on their attacking play and finishing after they took their remarkable tally to 26 goals in three games.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Most read Hampstead & Highgate sport


Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot


Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more. Boots is the number one choice when it comes to purchasing daily essentials.

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now