House hails emphatic home win as Belsize Park go fourth and conquer

The Belsize Park first XV

The Belsize Park first XV - Credit: Archant

Belsize Park earned their fourth league victory in a row in Herts/Middlesex Division One on Saturday, as a 69-10 home win over Royston took them up into second place.

The returning scrum-half Ben Parker was an influential figure and, along with wingers Guy Parker and Mark Liebling, the trio scored six of the hosts’ 12 tries between them.

Richard Wilson had a difficult day in front of goal, missing 10 of his 12 conversion attempts – but he also touched down and BP were able to celebrate a commanding victory, and a bonus point, which leaves them just one point behind leaders Kilburn Cosmos.

Captain Tom House, who has taken the armband in the absence of the injured Jonny Jones, said: “I was really pleased to see how calm and focused the boys were. We want to make Regent’s Park a difficult place to play for any opposition, and we laid down a marker against a side who were just a couple of points below us.”

House added: “It is fantastic to see the new boys settling in well – Adam French in the front row is growing in stature every week, Sam Bennett who has some big boots to fill at No7 but he makes a nuisance of himself at seemingly every breakdown.

“It is also fantastic to see some of the old guard hitting their stride. Jon Toy’s bullocking runs always draw in a lot of tacklers – and with quick ball from Ben Parker our fliers out wide, Guy Parker and Mark Liebling, were always in the game.”

Belsize started quickly, winning a scrum when Royston’s kick-off failed to go 10 metres, and Fred House picked up from the base and off-loaded to Parker, who put Liebling clear to touch down.

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BP were soon two tries ahead, with Royston barely having touched the ball, and the home forwards continued to flex their muscles and put phases together to keep the pressure on.

When Tom House was taken out off the ball, Wilson kicked a tricky penalty from 25m out, and the hosts accelerated away over the horizon.

Royston impressed at the line-out against BP’s taller men, but the home side did not lose any of their own throws – Zachary Webb was superb at the set piece, also winning four scrums against the head.

Seb Dunnett also made a good impact off the bench, adding to a selection headache for head coach Andy Barrington and the new additions to the coaching staff.

Mark Glowinkowski has arrived after coaching first-grade rugby in Australia, and James Lindsay has recently retired from playing following a head injury last season.

Elsewhere, Hendon had a weekend off in Herts/Middlesex Division Two but their second XV beat Old Tottonians 33-7, while the club also fielded a third team for the first time this season, with a number of the players making their debuts in rugby.