Dimoline kicks last-gasp penalty as Hampstead grab victory from the jaws of defeat
- Credit: Archant
Hampstead lost the lead with 90 seconds left and looked to be heading for a heartbreaking defeat on Saturday – but Dan Dimoline snatched victory back with the last play of the match.
Hampstead were in desperate need of a positive result after their 54-7 hammering at home against Harrow in their opening London North-West Division Two fixture.
With man of the match Max Moncrieff impressing, scrum-half Will Pettit touched down in the first half while rampaging lock Pat Wilson crossed the line in the second period and, although Old Haberdashers replied with three penalties, that gave the visitors a 15-9 lead inside the final two minutes.
At that point the hosts grabbed a converted try and celebrated what appeared to be a late winner.
However, there was still time for one more Hampstead attack and, as the clock ticked past 80 minutes, they won a penalty, with Dimoline stepping up to slot the ball between the sticks from 30 metres.
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Head coach Peter Breen said: “In 36 years of playing and coaching I have never seen a team so low, so crushed and so needing a win come back as this team have – and it was a privilege to be part of it.
“They proved the adage that to win takes skill and will, but that the will must be the stronger. I am so proud of them.”
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Hampstead host Hemel Hempstead on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Hampstead Ladies’ first team were not in action at the weekend, but the second XV travelled to Harwich and Dovercourt on Sunday for their second match of the season.
Still shaking off the effects of the 80-mile trip at kick-off, Hampstead quickly found themselves 7-0 down as the opposition took advantage of a lack of organisation to score and convert down the middle of the pitch.
That was a wake-up call for Hampstead and centre Anita Oliver was quick to reply with a try in the corner, while debutant Orla Hillary also crossed the whitewash – but neither score was converted and the home side led 14-10 at the break.
After some rejuvenating half-time oranges and a pep talk from the coaching team, Hampstead Ladies came back fiercely.
Shortly after the restart Alex Hamilton managed to put Hampstead ahead for the first time with a try that was converted by Becca Bickley.
And, clearly boasting superior fitness, the visitors were able to accumulate three more tries from Ruth Burns, Lilly Hunt and Delphine Tsirinana – and Hunt converted them all to add the gloss to a 38-14 victory.
Hillary was named the forward of the match after her impressive first appearance, and the back of the match award went to Alex Hamilton for her brilliant attacking lines and covering tackles.
Hampstead IIs visit Thurrock next weekend, while the ladies’ first team will host Beckenham in their first league match of the season.