Hooper’s late show is a bonus as leaders Belsize Park beat Old Streetonians
- Credit: Archant
Rob Hooper scored a fourth try for Belsize Park in the last minute to secure a bonus point in a 24-10 home win over Old Streetonians and extend their lead at the top of London North-West Division Three.
Will Allen opened the scoring for BP in Regent’s Park and Jeremy Burton touched down before debutant Matt Abbott crossed the whitewash – and fly-half Hooper went over the line with the last play of the game.
It was newly-promoted Belsize’s fifth victory from their opening six league games, and the bonus point took them two points ahead of second-placed Welwyn, who narroewly won 14-12 away at UCS Old Boys.
Old Streetonians started the game with plenty of initiative, hammering at the Belsize line for sustained periods.
But the home side held firm and took the lead when a delicate chip from the halfway line bounced kindly for Allen, who stepped past the full-back and went in under the posts, with Burton adding the conversion.
Old Street hit back with a try in the corner, but BP regained the lead before half-time as Hooper took a great line and found Allen, who drew two men before putting Burton in for another converted score.
Some basic errors and general frustration started to creep in for Belsize, who struggled to string their phases together at times.
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However, they came flying out of the traps in the second half, securing quick ball for the backs and some big carries from the ferocious Chris Dan, Danny Steadman and George Hazlett gave number eight Abbott a bit of space to take the ball over the line on his debut and put the hosts 19-5 up.
The rest of the half was spent defending and David Boyle was yellow carded for being off off his feet in a ruck.
Old Street took advantage of their numerical advantage to score their second try. However, BP had the final word and secured a useful bonus point with the final play of the match.
Allen accepted a speculative miss pass in the home 22 and galloped up the touchline, interlinking with Burton, Dan and Richard Wilson, who put Hooper in with a well-timed pass to finish off a superb team try.
Belsize visit sixth-placed Datchworth on Saturday.