Pettit’s hat-trick is a bonus for Hampstead in defeat at HAC

Hampstead's Will Pettit (centre) scored a hat-trick in the defeat to HAC. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Hampstead's Will Pettit (centre) scored a hat-trick in the defeat to HAC. Pic: Paolo Minoli - Credit: Archant

Will Pettit scored a hat-trick in Hampstead’s high-scoring 65-28 defeat away at HAC, securing a four-try bonus point which helped to keep them outside the relegation zone in London Division Two North-West.

HAC put phase after phase together in a frantic opening 20 minutes, but they couldn’t cross the line and had to settle for a penalty.

When Hampstead did get their hands on the ball, they lacked some direction and an interception – the first of three on the day – led to the home side’s first try.

But Hampstead were up for the fight, hitting back with a Pettit try, and when Dan Dimoline slotted the conversion between the sticks with five minutes of the first half remaining, a tight, low-scoring game was unfolding.

However, a miss-hit clearance did not find touch and HAC scored with the last play of the period to take a 15-7 lead into the break – and the floodgates opened in the second half.

There were 71 points scored in total – 50 of them by HAC, with many resulting from Hampstead errors and some awful tackling.

On the positive side, Pettit touched down twice more and veteran full-back Guy Dobson also crossed the whitewash to clinch a bonus point.

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“It was a bizarre game of rugby,” said stand-in captain Andy McEwen. “To be so close at half-time and then leak so many points is very disappointing. There’s a lot to work on in the new year.”