Belsize Park continue unbeaten start with Hempstead win
PUBLISHED: 10:00 30 October 2018
Belsize Park continued their unbeaten start to the season in London Two North West as they sealed a 37-32 win against Hemel Hempstead.
Neither side will have been proud of their defensive displays, despite having gone into the game with two of the best records in the league, as line breaks were prominent throughout at Regent’s Park.
Belsize’s Scott Docherty opened the scoring with a break down the left and, despite being grappled to the ground four yards short, he managed to slide over the line on his face.
Hemel responded instantly and after a few phases they took advantage of the numbers by constantly switching the direction of play and eventually leaving the home side too stretched to stop their number eight.
This pattern continued with Belsize scoring wide on two occasions with both wingers going in.
Alex Devereux dived on a fumbled chip by the Hemel back three from Docherty and Mark Liebling exploited an overlap on the right that was set up by Jamie Niven.
The covering scrum half overcommitted to the corner and a simple step inside left the winger through to canter over the line.
Niven sliced a clearance kick horribly from the back which, much to his horror, landed in the arms of Cam Roberts in the centres who was offside.
The resulting penalty was kicked to the corner and ruthlessly rumbled into the corner.
Despite a strong start to the second half it was Hemel who grabbed another try as their number 12 intercepted the ball and made a 70-yard dash to get across the line.
Another score from Hemel left them up by a handful of points for the first time in the game, before Docherty dotted down under the sticks for his second.
Hemel immediately ripped through the heart of the Belsize defence and scored to silence a stunned crowd, who feared the timer was in the red and the conversion would be all that was left with Hemel in the lead.
Fortunately there was still time for the restart and Cam Roberts showed incredible composure as he carried into contact virtually at the line, got his arms over the top of the tackle and left the ball hanging beautifully for winger Devereux to go in for his second of the day and the winner.