Hampstead shock Kiwis to secure league status

Hampstead secured their London League Three (north west) status with a shock away win at London New Zealand on Saturday - writes Jonny Weeks.

London New Zealand 7

Hampstead 23

Hampstead secured their London League Three (north west) status with a shock away win at London New Zealand on Saturday.

Despite trailing 7-0, Hampstead dominated the contest and claimed the victory which they knew would guarantee their safety.

However, relegation rivals Haringey lost at home to Enfield, making the result immaterial. Nevertheless, coach Glenn Taylor said he was ecstatic.

"It's the best we've played all season - I don't know why we've left it until now to play like that," he added.

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"The lineouts were good, we won a lot of first-phase ball and our back-row were all over them.

"We have played very well against the top sides this season, but we haven't been consistent against the teams around us.

"It didn't matter that Haringey lost. It would have been an anti-climax if we hadn't done the business ourselves and ensured our own safety."

The Exiles took the lead from a breakaway with Hampstead camped on the try-line hoping to open their account.

The home team's centre cut loose and ran the full length of the pitch without being caught.

Hampstead replied soon afterwards when the Kiwis kicked for touch but missed. Ben Fenhert broke several tackles and released right-wing Dave Sleight on the 22 for a try. Ed Hales scored the second try, while two penalties and a conversion made it 18-7 to Hampstead at half-time.

"We tired them so much in the first half it gave us full control of the second half," said Taylor.

Rich Williams grabbed Hampstead's third try when he picked up the ball after two consecutive collapsed mauls to race over.

The win - Hampstead's third in their past six games - leaves them third from bottom in the table on 11 points, while Haringey finished on nine and are relegated.

Hampstead: Fenhert, Sleight, Williams, Goldberg, Poole, Colvin, Hales, Clazey, Pugh, Darke, Hayes, Eastwood, Lacey, Cowan-Dickie.

l Hendon seconds reached the final of the Herts Middlesex League Merit Table Cup (six) with a 14-13 victory over Boreham Wood on Saturday.