Herts Middlesex One: UCS Old Boys 17 London Welsh 7

Gwynn Edwards races clear for UCS Old Boys (pic Nick Cook)

Gwynn Edwards races clear for UCS Old Boys (pic Nick Cook) - Credit: Archant

UCS Old Boys captain Tom Arnold paid tribute to his side after their 17-7 win over London Welsh Amateurs in Herts Middlesex One.

Charlie Esdon scores a try for UCS Old Boys (pic Nick Cook)

Charlie Esdon scores a try for UCS Old Boys (pic Nick Cook) - Credit: Archant

Forced to make several changes due to injuries sustained in their win over London French, UCS got the better of the early season paceseetters for a fine victory.

Captain Arnold said: “I was so proud of the boys. London Welsh tried to bully us, but we held firm, and our scrambling defence, missing last season, was evident.

“We were accurate in attack, made very few errors with the ball, and took our chances. We are confident counterattacking side.

“What is most pleasing is we are starting to develop a strong squad, with many players holding their hands up for selection.”

The exiles, coached by ex-Wales centre Sonny Parker, began well but UCS, who gave debuts to Marty Tootell and Harry Mann, weathered an early storm and man of the match and backs coach Charlie Esdon was stopped just short after a wonderful break by number eight Will Jones.

A pass from the Welsh outside centre was intercepted by Gwyn Edwards, the one Welshman in the UCS team, who came in off his wing and raced under the posts from 60 metres out, only to see the conversion hit the bar.

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The Welsh number eight then dropped the ball at close range after crash tackles from Stefan Filip and Liam Clarke and Ahmad Ghanem and Liam Clarke set up fly-half Esdon, but he couldn’t find left wing Harry Greenall.

Welsh started the second half brightly and finally scored via a mazy run by the right wing who fielded a kick on halfway and accelerated through midfield to score a solo try under the posts.

The conversion put Welsh 7-5 up, but UCS scored a magnificent counter-attacking try as Henry Day, playing at full back, fielded a deep kick in his own 22, raced upfield and sent Esdon under the posts for a converted try.

Welsh wasted three two-man overlaps and were made to pay as Jack Gourlay and Edwards shone and scrum-half Nathaniel Breakwell took a tap penalty and after a series of rucks, Harry Mann fed Turkish international Mert Zabci with a clever overhead pass and the flanker sped in the left corner to seal a fantastic win.

UCS Old Boys: Sewell (Mann 55), Bean, Ghanem, Boulden, Ovens, Filip (Zabci 50), Clarke, Jones, Breakwell, Esdon, Greenall, Gourlay (Day 45), Tootell, Edwards, Arnold.