Hampstead suffer a fourth straight defeat - this time to the basement boys

Hampstead's Dan Dimoline. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Hampstead's Dan Dimoline. Pic: Paolo Minoli - Credit: Archant

Hampstead’s decline continued as a depleted side suffered a fourth successive defeat in London North-West Division Two – this time to bottom side Old Merchant Taylors’.

Peter Breen’s side sat second in the league, three points off the top, in mid-December after winning seven matches out of 10.

However, they have since lost five of their last six games – the latest one coming against a team who had lost 13 of their previous 15 matches – and have dropped to seventh place in the standings.

Hampstead were leading 10-5 in the final minutes on Saturday, following a penalty try and two kicks from Dan Dimoline, but they then conceded a try – followed by another one straight from the kick-off as they went down 19-10.

Unfortunately their next challenge could not be much tougher as they host leaders Fullerians on Saturday.

Head coach Breen said: “Every side suffers injuries but I’m finding it difficult to find a way to play with the personnel we’ve got. We’re struggling to find cohesion and a game plan that works.

“But even without that, all we had to do was keep the ball in their half for the last five or 10 minutes, but we decided to pass it and made mistakes.

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“We’ve always been known as a side that can play very well or very badly, even in the same game. We just need to play very well soon to salvage our season.

“Each loss has been in an entirely different way. I don’t know if that means we’re doing something consistently badly, and I can change it, or that we’re just finding a way to lose.

“The good thing is our front row are doing really well - we’re doing really well in scrums. We’re just lacking a bit of potency in the back line.

“At the start of the season our first goal was to try to win more than we lost for the first time in years, and I think that will be the best we can get now. If we can end with 12 wins and one draw then we’re improving - but as it stands we haven’t done as well as last year and that’s the truth of it.”