Hampstead hat-trick heroes inspire derby demolition of UCS
London North-West Division 2: Hampstead 67 UCS Old Boys 10
Pete Evans and Phil Carr both scored hat-tricks as Hampstead enjoyed a 10-try demolition of local rivals UCS in Saturday’s derby.
Hampstead took the lead after just five minutes when UCS’s Dave O’Dwyer was tackled on the halfway line, with James Clark taking advantage of the turnover to run in the first try, which Morgan Clement converted.
UCS replied as Carl Bradshaw freed Stuart Huxter for an unconverted score, but Hampstead were soon back on top as Carr and David Jones went over in quick succession, with the successful conversions giving the hosts a 21-5 lead after 30 minutes.
UCS rallied and played their best rugby in the 10 minutes before the interval, putting together 15 phases to create a chance for Josh Harrison, but the winger was forced out of play five metres from the line.
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Huxter then broke away on the left wing, but his pass inside was intercepted and moments later Hampstead’s Evans was touching down at the other end as the hosts took a 26-5 lead into half-time.
They extended their advantage after a kick through the defence and, although UCS’s James Gross was first to the loose ball, it eluded his grasp and Carr was able to ground it, with Clement converting again.
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Four more converted tries followed in the next 20 minutes, with Dave Levett, Evans, Carr and Mike Redfern all crossing the line – and the 10th try followed five minutes from time as another interception gifted Evans his third of the game.
UCS had the final word in the last minute as lock James May and Carl Bradshaw combined to set up Huxter, who chipped the ball forward and won the race to score his second try.
But the day belonged to Hampstead, who retained fourth spot in the table, while UCS sit third from bottom
after a sixth league defeat.
UCS’s director of rugby Geoff Boxer said: “Sometimes you have to hold your hands up and congratulate an opposition side for playing well and, although the score may have flattered them, they produced a virtually error-free performance.
“We need to accept now that we are in a relegation fight and the second half of the season needs to see us turn in some 80-minute performances.”
Meanwhile, Hendon were left to rue a poor first-half performance after suffering their eighth defeat from their nine league games in Herts/Middlesex 1, going down 37-15 at home against Old Actonians.
The home side were much-improved in the second period and won the half 12-8 – but the damage had already been done.
Old Actonians took the lead within minutes of the kick-off, running in a converted try.
Hendon winger John Paul Cremin won a 10th-minute penalty, which was converted by John McCarthy, but from then on it was one-way traffic as OAs built up a 29-3 lead before half-time.
There were stern words from captain Brian O’Regan during the interval, and a transformed Hendon outfit took the game to their visitors after the restart.
Substitute Alex Whittaker set up an attack which was finished by Cremin to reduce the arrears to 29-8.
The Hendon pack then realised their strength and punishing charges by Paul Julian were supported by Paul Geraghty, putting Actonians on the defensive.
The forwards eventually got the deserved reward for their endeavours as Terry Gilbride crashed over the line, and Steve Brady added the extras to leave the score 29-15 with 10 minutes to go.
Injuries then reduced Hendon to 14 players as they had used up all of their replacements – and although they continued to dominate, OAs used the gaps to add another penalty and then an easy try to complete the scoring.
Elsewhere in the division, Belsize Park went down 24-15 away at Bank of England, leaving them seventh in the table.