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Hampstead's Tom Cracknell

Rugby round-up: Hampstead keeping Tabs on the leaders after going third

Thursday, February 7, 2013
12.00 PM

Hampstead moved up to third place in the table after defeating league leaders Tabard on Saturday.

Hampstead had been beaten by Chiswick in their previous outing but they bounced back in the best possible way, preventing the title favourites from scoring a single try while running in three of their own.

The clash was scheduled as a home game for Hampstead – but it was moved to Finchley at the last minute to allow it to go ahead – and the change of location seemed to throw Tabard.

Morgan Clement sent an early penalty kick between the sticks and man of the match Shane Godding touched down for a converted score after a break by full-back Tom Cracknell, leaving Tabard 10 points down after as many minutes.

They struck back with a penalty but that was to be their only score of the game, and Hampstead stamped their authority on the game as Godding ripped the ball from Tabard’s fly half and galloped 80 yards to the try-line, with Clement adding the extras.

Cracknell completed a dream first half with a third try, and Clement added a penalty a few minutes later to leave Hampstead 25-3 up at the break.

Cracknell also scored a penalty after the interval, but that was the only score of the second half.

At the other end of the table, UCS Old Boys are rooted to the bottom after a 36-5 home defeat against Chiswick.

Tom Loughnan’s try initially put UCS 5-0 up after good work from Matt Jacobs, Tom Bamford and Chris Turner, but that was their only score as the visitors ran out comfortable winners.

UCS’s director of rugby Geoff Boxer said: “We certainly need to develop a winning habit soon or relegation threatens.

“It is difficult for the coaches to put their finger on what is going wrong. We have an enthusiastic squad of players with more than enough ability, but we cannot seem to maintain the intensity in our play.”

Elsewhere, in London Division Three North-West, basement boys Haringey Rhinos lost 35-8 away at Imperial Medials.

Hendon were vying to reach the semi-finals of the Middlesex Vase – having won the trophy once and been runners-up three times – but they went down 24-10 at Feltham, with “Buzz” Nunez and John McCarthy scoring late consolation tries.