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Battling Hampstead rock league leaders

PUBLISHED: 15:54 19 January 2007 | UPDATED: 14:25 07 September 2010

Hampstead almost overturned London League leaders Welwyn on Saturday despite being nine places below them in division three (north west). Richard Colvin put Hampstead in front on the Heath with a penalty before Welwyn - who lie joint top with Ruislip

Hampstead almost overturned London League leaders Welwyn on Saturday despite being nine places below them in division three (north west).

Richard Colvin put Hampstead in front on the Heath with a penalty before Welwyn - who lie joint top with Ruislip - scored their only try.

Hampstead hit back with increased pressure as the interval loomed, but ran a series of penalties which in hindsight should have been kicked.

Their endeavour was eventually rewarded after the break when Danny Burgess crashed under the posts from a driven maul. Colvin added the conversion.

But Hampstead were then twice punished for questioning refereeing decisions in the latter stages - the first led to a penalty and the second saw play being advanced 10 metres, bringing the posts within range.

Both kicks were successful, handing Welwyn a four-point advantage.

"We played very well, knocked them about a lot and they didn't get the walkover they had expected," said Hampstead president Roger Dearling.

"We had more ball than they did and if it wasn't for the fact that we are out of the winning habit, we might have held them off. There was a period before half-time when we were camped on their line but we just got a bit anxious.

"We had a flurry of penalties and every time we chose to push on for a try when perhaps we might have been as well to put three points on the board."

Hampstead remain second from bottom in the table and are searching for a successor to coach Glenn Taylor, who plans to leave at the end of the season.

"We have tried all avenues to find a replacement for him and we are still searching," said Dearling. "He has only stayed on this season as a favour. If anyone is interested in coaching they should get in touch on 020 8883 4504."

Hampstead squad: Hayles, Sleight, Jenkins, Pool, Williams, Colvin, McTurk, Lai-Man Sung, Pugh, Darke, Agyeton, Wadsworth, Burgess, Cobbledick, Lacey.

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