Breen backs Hampstead to push into top half as they fight back to overcome St Albans

Dan Dimoline in action for Hampstead. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Dan Dimoline in action for Hampstead. Pic: Paolo Minoli - Credit: Archant

Hampstead came from behind to score 33 unanswered points and clinch a 39-13 bonus-point home win over St Albans, confirming coach Peter Breen’s belief that his team are ready to push towards the top of the table in London North-West Division Two.

A comfortable win for the home side looked anything but for the first 50 minutes of the match as the pumped-up visitors took their chances well, while Hampstead were guilty of impatience when they had field position.

Two penalty goals from man of the match Dan Dimoline were all Hampstead had to show for their efforts in the first half, when they had a strong wind in their favour.

Meanwhile St Albans, belying their lowly league position, scored a penalty of their own, followed by a try to take an 8-6 lead into the break – and they then touched down again five minutes into the second half to go 13-6 up.

Hampstead’s response was superb though. Fly-half Dave Mold pulled the strings in a multi-phase move as Pete Evans charged down the right and put second rower Rob Good in for a try, while Dimoline added the extras.

That was followed by another try almost from the kick-off. This time Dimoline touched down after some strong work through the middle from Andy McEwen and Jon Beswick, who were part of a dominant back-row unit.

Three further tries in the closing 15 minutes – another from Dimoline, and one each from McEwen and scrum half Will Petitt – rounded off a stellar second half for Hampstead, and Breen feels the team are starting to develop nicely.

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“We have an identity and a style of play that other teams are finding increasingly hard to break down,” he said. “Even in the defeat against Chiswick last week we showed promise.

“The challenge now is to push on towards the top half of the league and then start building for next season. We’ve got a great core of players who are starting to play for each other. That’s something we didn’t have last season.”