Belsize Park maintain their unbeaten start with victory over Harpenden

Ben Parker scored Belsize Park's second try. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Ben Parker scored Belsize Park's second try. Pic: Paolo Minoli - Credit: Archant

Belsize Park maintained their unbeaten start to life in London North-West Division Two and remain second in the table after triumphing 13-6 away against Harpenden.

The newly-promoted visitors missed a number of chances and initially fell behind, but a try from Chris Dan put them ahead.

And, although BP finished the game with 13 men after conceding a host of penalties, Ben Parker scored the only points of the second half, crossing the line to secure the team’s second successive victory, which keeps them among the front-runners.

First-team coach James Lindsay said: “These are the games where you have to dig in deep and grind out an ugly victory if you want to win the league.

“Similarly to this time last year, when we beat Hackney, we had beaten the team that had been promoted with us the previous weekend (London Nigerian), showing that we have moved to another level as a squad – and this was the first real test of our mental strength and desire to keep on moving up the leagues.

“It really came down to the last play and the players emptied their tanks, making some vital last ditch tackles to secure the four points and continue the momentum into next week.”

The conditions suited Belsize’s expansive style but they were dominated in the scrum and opportunities to score went begging due to forced passes.

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Harpenden went 3-0 up but BP scored the first try, with Jamie Niven breaking the line, drawing the last man and freeing Dan.

The two sides then traded penalties, giving Belsize Park an 8-6 lead at the break, and they started the second half typically strongly.

However, knock-ons and penalties undermined their efforts, and the referee brandished three yellow cards, leaving Lindsay’s side with 13 men at the end.

Nonetheless, they emerged triumphant, with Parker getting over the line to stretch the winning margin to seven points.