Belsize Park finish on a high while third team secures another title with 50th unbeaten game
- Credit: Archant
Belsize Park finished their season on a high with a home win over fourth-placed Grasshoppers, but it was not enough to grab the second promotion spot in London North-West Division Three.
Man of the match John Corellis and Ben Parker both touched down twice in Regent’s Park, while Howard Pauling and Jeremy Burton also crossed the line as Belsize ran in six tries to secure a bonus point. Full-back Burton added two conversions in the hosts’ 17th victory of the campaign.
However, their slim hopes of overtaking Welwyn at the death and grabbing a second successive promotion were dashed as their rivals predictably thumped bottom side Old Streetonians, triumphing 100-0 to equal Belsize’s points total and finish just above them due to having one extra win.
“It’s exactly what we expected but it was important that we went out and played really well against Grasshoppers,” said stand-in captain Richard Wilson.
Meanwhile, there was joy for Belsize’s third team as they secured a third successive title and promotion in the Middlesex Merit Table while extending their magnificent unbeaten run in competitive rugby to 50 matches.
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Captain David Tink scored a winning penalty with the final kick of the match as BP beat Kilburn Cosmos’ second team 20-17, maintaining their perfect record for the season and taking another crown.
They have won all 15 of their league games this campaign, scoring 789 points in the process and conceding just 61.
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Kilburn kicked a penalty midway through the first half but Belsize quickly responded as Matt Fiander touched down for a converted try. And, when the Cosmos replied in kind, Adam Marcus went over just before the half-time whistle to give BP a 12-10 lead at the break.
The Cosmos struck first in the second period but Park’s number eight Lee Harrison made it over the whitewash to equalise at 17-17.
Belsize thought they had scored again when Miguel Martinez touched down, but the try was disallowed for a forward pass.
Instead, it was left to Tink to win the day as the referee awarded a penalty right at the end of the match, and the skipper stepped up to win the match and the title.
The two teams go head to head again on Saturday – this time in the Middlesex Merit Bowl final at Finchley RFC.
Belsize’s second and fourth teams have also won their leagues this season, but they lost their cup semi-finals at the weekend against Hertford’s fourth team and Biggleswade’s third string respectively.