Search

Wilson’s late winning try takes Belsize Park 10 points clear at the top

16:56 10 February 2014

Belsize Park

Belsize Park's Richard Wilson scored a decisive late try. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Archant

Richard Wilson scored a dramatic last-minute winning try as Belsize Park racked up a 13th successive victory, winning 14-10 at Royston to move 10 points clear at the top of Herts/Middlesex Division One.

Zach Webb (left) in action for Belsize Park. Pic: Paolo MinoliZach Webb (left) in action for Belsize Park. Pic: Paolo Minoli

With their rivals having a weekend off due to the wet weather, BP had the chance to extend their advantage at the summit – and they faced a side they had previously thumped 69-10 in October.

However, it proved to be a real battle in difficult conditions, and the league leaders found themselves 10-0 down at half-time.

But Zach Webb came off the bench to score a converted try, and Wilson ran in from outside the 22 right at the death to win the day for the visitors.

“I was delighted with the boys’ composure,” said captain Tom House. “Like the Old Millhillians game [a 25-21 away win in November] we were behind for 70 minutes but came back strongly at the end.

“We were made to fight so hard but, after such a winning streak of 13 games, you will find ways to cross the finishing line in front.

“We know how to win, even if it doesn’t always look like it for 80 minutes.”

Only two games survived the elements in Herts/Middlesex Division One on Saturday, and the match was played in atrocious conditions with rain so hard that it was difficult to see the posts at the far end of the field.

Belsize gambled, opting to play up the hill and into the wind in the first half, aiming to keep it tight in the first period and then take advantage of the slope and conditions after the break.

BP enjoyed more of the possession but, as the only option was to run the ball, progress was very slow up the field and they encountered a highly committed defence.

Belsize battered the Royston line but were unable to cross it, despite surging drives from Nick Tyler, Olly Budd, George Hazlett and the returning Fred House.

Instead it was Royston who opened the scoring with a penalty, and the home team’s captain crashed over the line for a converted try with the last play of the half.

Belsize were 10-0 down but they had the hill and the wind after the interval and the second half was one-way traffic.

Man of the match Adam French built on his previous performance against Cheshunt by contributing even more in the loose, tackling and carrying like a man possessed, while playing his part as Belsize’s scrum began to crush Royston’s.

Meanwhile, in the line-out, Tom House did well at covering the throw to the front, ensuring Royston did not win one clean ball all afternoon.

With Belsize dominating at the set piece, the home side had no choice but to kick straight down the middle of the pitch to the faultless Stevie Eustace, who showed his class in the worst conditions for a full-back imaginable.

BP continued to batter Royston but their defence seemed unbreachable – until Webb entered the fray 15 minutes after the break and scored after a series of phases of tight forward play.

Still, the Belsize wingers were well marked, while the dynamic duo of Nick Lewis and Andrew Richardson were hardly given any room to breathe in the centre.

BP seemed to be heading for their second defeat of the campaign, but eventually their dominance in the forwards came to the fore.

The Royston backs were sucked into the tight for the final couple of phases – and that gave Wilson the space to carve through the chink to touch down, before adding his second conversion of the afternoon.

“The forwards were immense,” said House. “They gave everything in what will probably be the toughest battle we face this season.

“Full credit to Royston for their tenacity but after we had such dominance at the set piece, it would have been hugely disappointing not to come away with the points.”

0 comments

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Sports News

Friday, May 27, 2016
Middlesex's Dawid Malan

Dawid Malan celebrated his first game as Middlesex’s T20 skipper with a classy knock of 93 as his side hammered Hampshire by 69 runs.

Friday, May 27, 2016
New Zealand's Brendon McCullum hits out against England in 2015

James Franklin has warned that Middlesex cannot expect his former New Zealand team-mate Brendon McCullum to single-handedly transform their fortunes in one-day cricket.

Thursday, May 26, 2016
Saracens' Chris Wyles scores his second try in Saturday's Premiership semi-final against Leicester

Saracens are aiming to complete an historic European and domestic double as they gear up for Saturday’s Premiership final at Twickenham.

Thursday, May 26, 2016
Middlesex batsman Nick Gubbins

While it may be a cliché, to get a first-class hundred for the first time at Lord’s – the home of cricket – was an absolute dream come true.

Thursday, May 26, 2016
Henry Collier bats for Hampstead. Pic: Max Flego

Hampstead captain Steve Clark feels his side have shown what they are capable of after the reigning champions kickstarted their title defence with a comprehensive home win.

Thursday, May 26, 2016
Left to right: Camden Swiss Cottage's Ally Dill, Amir Castronovo, Lauren Brantley, Alexis Lambropoulos, Marliese Rittenhouse, Brandon Biss, Ella McEver, Lyelle Kahaner, Alexander Chen and Clementine Butler Brown

A contingent of Camden Swiss Cottage’s youngsters faced their biggest challenge of the season so far at the London Regional Age Group Championships, held over two weekends at Crystal Palace.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Harriet Dart

West Hampstead’s Harriet Dart won the $25,000 doubles title in Goyang, South Korea, on Saturday.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Beth Potter (right) is pursued by her British rivals Kate Avery and Jessica Andrews (second from left), who eventually won the race on the Parliament Hill athletics track. Pic: Mark Shearman

Former world record-holder Dave Bedford says Highgate Harriers’ Night of the 10,000m PBs is a “fascinating event” which is “of great value” to the world of athletics.

PROMOTED CONTENT

There are no rules when it comes to buying studio pottery beyond choosing what you love

With The Great Pottery Throwdown captivating viewers across the nation, pottery courses at capacity, and hipsters snapping up vintage studio pieces to display their succulents in and post on Instagram, studio pottery and ceramics are definitely having a moment.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read Hampstead & Highgate sport

HOT JOBS

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

Competitions

Win a BMW 1 series

There are fewer cars currently on the market more stylish and exciting than the BMW. Known all over the world as one of the best car manufacturers, the BMW is renowned for sleek designs and fantastic high quality workmanship.

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe