Hampstead extend unbeaten streak to three games after draw at Hemel Hempstead

Ben Fehnert scored Hampstead's first try away at Hemel Hempstead. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Ben Fehnert scored Hampstead's first try away at Hemel Hempstead. Pic: Paolo Minoli - Credit: Archant

Hampstead extended their unbeaten streak to three games with a hard-fought 10-10 draw away to Hemel Hempstead in London Division Two North-West.

Hemel started the better of the two teams and pressed the Hampstead line with a series of drives around the breakdown.

The away team’s defence held strong but the pressure resulted in a penalty in front of the posts, which the visitors converted to take an early lead.

Hampstead responded well and showed confidence in flinging the ball wide, but were unable to finish off their chances - a familiar problem for them this season.

Eventually, Ben Fehnert glided over from 30 meters after some brilliant handling by the backs. Morgan Clement missed the conversion.

At that point, Hampstead could have run away with it, but some strong Hemel defending and fussy refereeing ensure the score remained 5-3 at half-time.

Hemel started the second half strongly and would have scored their first try but for some great last-ditch defending from full-back Dan Dimoline.

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Instead, Hampstead scored from the resulting scrum, moving upfield and releasing No8 Andy McEwen, who powered 40 meters down the line, fending off allcomers with hand and head. Clement again missed the conversion.

After that, the game descended into scrappiness, largely down to some over-officious officiating by the official.

Hemel scored and converted their only try after the referee called Dimoline offside when he was by some measures 10 yards onside. Hemel converted to equalise at 10-10, and it remained that way for the final 20 minutes. Neither side went home happy.

Hampstead captain Max Rawlinson reflected: “We played very well in patches but couldn’t put together a full 80 minutes.

“These are the games we should be winning, but we’re now unbeaten from three and looking strong going into Christmas.”