Rugby round-up: Davies inspires UCS to vital victory in basemement battle

UCS Old Boys' Aled Davies (centre) in action

UCS Old Boys' Aled Davies (centre) in action - Credit: Archant

London Division Two North-West: UCS Old Boys 19 St Albans 7

Aled Davies scored one try and set up another in the space of two second-half minutes as UCS Old Boys won a vital basement battle and moved out of the bottom two relegation spots.

UCS’s debutant fly-half Mark Forth kicked the home side into an early lead but prop Alex Klimov was sinbinned in the 25th minute and St Albans took advantage of their extra man to score a converted try from a catch and drive following a line-out.

However, those were the only points that the hosts conceded, and they went on to score 16 unanswered points.

Forth slotted two penalties between the sticks to put UCS 9-7 ahead, and Davies then stole the show.

The former Wales Under-16 player scored a fine individual try and, moments later, he took a quick tap penalty 20 metres out and released his fellow centre Matt Jacobs, who touched down in the corner, with Forth adding the extras.

UCS’s player-coach Carl Bradshaw said: “I hope that this win will be a defining moment for us this season as we try to build on it and climb out of the relegation places. We showed a fantastic spirit and played some clever rugby.”

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Meanwhile, at the other end of the table, Hampstead also won 19-7, triumphing away at HAC to record their second successive league victory and close in on second place.

Morgan Clement stroked the ball between the posts to give Hampstead a 3-0 half-time lead and, soon after the restart, winger Phil Carr took advantage of an HAC error to score an opportunistic but well-taken converted try.

Strong breaks Pete Evans, Eoin Power and Max Rawlinson gave Hampstead the territorial advantage, forcing a penalty and allowing Clement to kick his side into a 19-0 lead before HAC full-back Andrew Marsh scored a converted consolation try.

There was further good news for Hampstead as they discovered that second-placed Hemel Hempstead had been beaten away at Hammersmith & Fulham, leaving them just two points outside the play-off spot.

Elsewhere, in Herts/Middlesex 1, Belsize Park increased their cushion above the drop zone after recording a comfortable 33-7 away win over basement boys West London.

BP’s sixth victory from their 14 league games leaves them 22 points above their local rivals Hendon, who were beaten 81-0 defeat by Old Millhillians on Saturday and have it all to do if they are to escape relegation.

In London Division Three North-West, Haringey Rhinos continue to prop up the table after a 39-12 defeat at second-placed Old Priorians – their 13th defeat from 15 league games.