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Double delight as Hampstead’s men and ladies run in five tries in home wins

PUBLISHED: 14:27 29 September 2014 | UPDATED: 17:58 29 September 2014

Lilly Hunt (left) celebrates with Rachel Grovenor and Micha Palmer. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Lilly Hunt (left) celebrates with Rachel Grovenor and Micha Palmer. Pic: Paolo Minoli

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Faye Hamp and Lilly Hunt both touched down twice as Hampstead’s ladies ran in five tries to beat Beckenham 25-12 and record a bonus-point victory in their opening league fixture yesterday.

Hampstead's Lilly Hunt (centre), who touched down twice, charges through the Beckenham defence. Pic: Paolo MinoliHampstead's Lilly Hunt (centre), who touched down twice, charges through the Beckenham defence. Pic: Paolo Minoli

After a delayed start to the season in Championship South East Division Two, the hosts were quickly out of the blocks on the Hampstead Heath extension, with Hamp finishing off a brilliant team move to score the first try of the campaign.

The forwards have clearly come on in leaps and bounds in their scrummaging since last season and they showed their strength on Sunday, turning over many of the opposition’s put-ins.

Their dominance was complemented by the backs, who combined well again to open up some space for Hunt, who finished well under pressure to score in the corner and put Hampstead 10-0 up.

The home side then had to withstand some pressure on their own line and performed well at the breakdown, but they conceded an unfortunate try – which was converted – as Beckenham narrowed the gap to just three points at the interval.

Faye Hamp crosses the try-line and dots down for one of her two scores. Pic: Paolo MinoliFaye Hamp crosses the try-line and dots down for one of her two scores. Pic: Paolo Minoli

The second half was littered with injuries in a bruising encounter, and Hampstead lost centre Anita Oliver after she suffered concussion, but they extended their lead as captain Fran Hall took advantage of some confusion over one of the injuries to sprint 50m and touch down.

That proved to be a killer score for the hosts, and Hamp and Hunt doubled their tallies for the match to put their side out of sight and add the bonus point before Beckenham grabbed a consolation try.

Deborah Crossan was named the forward of the match while scrum-half Rachel Grovenor picked up the backs’ award.

Skipper Hall said: “It was a tough game, Beckenham is always a challenging team with very strong forwards. But we were focused from the first minute and our forwards were amazing in defence and attack, making the backs’ lives much easier.

Fran Hall kicks for goal. Pic: Paolo MinoliFran Hall kicks for goal. Pic: Paolo Minoli

“Our hands worked perfectly, everything seemed to come together and, in the end, the result shows clearly what happened on the pitch. There’s still a lot of work to do but we are definitely heading in the right direction.”

Meanwhile, Hampstead Ladies’ second team lost 38-0 away at Medway, although the score did not reflect a hard-fought match.

Elsewhere, Hampstead’s men also triumphed at home at the weekend, beating Hemel Hempstead 53-23 to post their second successive victory in London North-West Division Two.

The sides traded penalties early on, with Dan Dimoline kicking Hampstead ahead before Hemel levelled – and when Will Pettit danced his way over for the opening try, the visitors hit back to take an 11-10 lead.

But Max Moncrieff and man of the match Ben Fidler touched down before Dimoline kicked Hampstead into a 24-11 half-time lead – and Moncrieff scored again after the interval.

Hemel kept themselves in the game but Neil Watt touched down and Hampstead were then awarded a penalty try before Pettit scored for a second time, taking Peter Breen’s side past the 50-point mark for the first time this season.

Coach Breen said: “This was a very good display, especially on the back of last week’s efforts [in the last-minute victory over Old Habershashers].

“We appear to building a good understanding of each other and our tactics. More importantly we are becoming a team.

“One especially encouraging thing was the presence of strangers and newcomers on the touch-line, many of whom said they had read reports in the Ham and High.

“They came and remained, they said, because the level of rugby and entertainment was so high. We are truly look forwarding to welcoming more to our next home game and sharing a drink with them afterwards at our new clubhouse the Duke of Hamilton.”


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