Belsize Park overcome UCS Old Boys as promotion and relegation battles go to the wire
- Credit: Archant
There was no change at the top or bottom of the London North-West Division Three table, and the promotion and relegation battles are going down to the wire after Belsize Park triumphed 53-8 away against UCS Old Boys in Saturday’s derby.
Belsize ran in eight tries to comfortably secure a bonus point, staying level with second-placed Welwyn on points – but they remain agonisingly outside the top two because their rivals have won one more game.
If the sides are still tied after the final game a week on Saturday, BP will miss out on promotion – and Welwyn have the perfect fixture against basement boys Old Streetonians, who have lost 20 of their 21 matches while conceding an average of 38 points per game.
Belsize, on the other hand, face a tricky home game against fourth-placed Grasshoppers.
It is a similar situation at the other end of the table in UCS’s relegation battle with Wasps.
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Both sides emerged from the weekend pointless, with Wasps losing 48-14 away against leaders Fullerians, so they also remain tied. However, UCS have won an extra match so they have the edge and remain just outside the bottom two as the two teams prepare to face each other in a decisive showdown on April 11.
Belsize’s Jeremy Burton scored an early penalty on Saturday and, although the Old Boys responded in kind, BP hooker Michael Downes showed fine footwork to make a gap and dash to the line.
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A long pass out to Nick Lewis then put the winger over in the corner, and he unselfishly turned down the opportunity for another score soon after, giving David Shutte a rare try instead.
They kept coming, and Chris Dan, captain Richard Wilson, Rob Hooper and Nathan Ladd all crossed the line, while Lewis touched down for a second time.
Burton went over the whitewash as well and converted five of the eight scores to end up with 18 points, while UCS earned a late consolation as they burrowed over in front of the posts.