Belsize Park set for fourth despite ‘most enjoyable loss’
- Credit: George Phillipou/TGS Photo
Belsize Park are certain to finish fourth in London North West Two despite “one of the most enjoyable losses” of the season.
Park picked up a losing bonus point in the 29-22 defeat to league leaders Old Haberdashers but for long periods of the game they were more than a match for their high flying hosts.
Director of rugby Zach Webb said: “That was one of the most enjoyable losses that I have ever been involved with. Unfortunately we put ourselves under too much pressure at scrum time and Old Habs got amongst our usually superb defense.
“That aside, in attack we are playing the finest rugby ever experienced in our club’s history. If we can continue this rate of improvement then we will be hard to beat.
The guys’ spirit to fightback and their sense of ownership at this late stage of the season makes it all worthwhile.”
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Belsize took an early lead after no.8 Aidan Graham touched down after about 20 phases of attack in what was Belsize’s best worked try of the season.
Full-back Jeremy Burton added the points but after three unforced errors, the tide changed and Belsize were pinned in their half until a dominant homeside scrum saw their winger score in the corner.
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Burton soon added a penalty to put Belsize 10-5 up but one 50m break later, the home side rumbled over the Belsize line.
Another break and some weak tackling led to another try before the break.
Belsize fly-half Jamie Niven moved to full-back at half-time in a move that was to earn him the man-of-the-match award.
His replacement James Huxtable used his boot to tighten the grip on Old Habs with some incisive positional kicking putting Belsize deep in the home half.
However, after two almost most certain tries were foiled by the Habs’ wing, the dominant home scrum brough two further tries and a 29-10 lead.
But in the last 10 minutes Belsize fought back, led by some superb broken field running by Niven.
After some superb running rugby, wing Joe Heagarty touched down out wide but Burton was unfortunate to hit the posts.
Almost immediately Heagarty was on hand again to provide a beautiful off-load for Burton to score and add the conversion.