Lindsay hails ‘turning point’ as Belsize Park move level with league leaders

Rob Hooper scored Belsize Park's opening try. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Rob Hooper scored Belsize Park's opening try. Pic: Paolo Minoli - Credit: Archant

Belsize Park coach James Lindsay felt Saturday’s 24-12 victory at Datchworth was a “turning point” as his side moved up to second place in London North-West Division Three, level on points with league leaders London Nigerian.

Rob Hooper, Miran Serdarevic, Jeremy Burton and Ben Chipperfield all touched down to secure a bonus point, and Lindsay said: “This game was a turning point. I have been working on new motivational techniques for the guys and I feel they are really paying off.”

An early try started with a kick and chase down the wing by Mark Liebling from inside his own half, which he collected himself. From the resulting ruck the ball was spun wide for the opposite wing, Hooper, to touch down in the corner.

Burton missed the conversion and then a penalty attempt in the swirling wind. But, minutes later, centre Jack Marples broke the line after a rehearsed move to put the hosts under pressure in their own 22, and scrum-half Rich Turner darted through and popped the ball to number eight Serdarevic, who crossed the line, with Burton adding the extras.

Belsize were then forced to defend an attacking lineout on their five-yard line but captain George Hazlett stole the ball and launched a counter-attack before eventually breaking several tackles himself and off-loading to Burton, who ran in under the posts before adding another conversion and giving the visitors a 19-0 lead at half-time.

Replacement wing Chipperfield also went over in the corner after the break to cement the bonus point after an hour of hugely impressive rugby from Belsize, who became a little over-eager in the scrum and conceded two tries before the end.