UCS Old Boys battle back but can’t overcome Hammersmith & Fulham

UCS Old Boys captain James Boyde scored twice. Pic: Paolo Minoli

UCS Old Boys captain James Boyde scored twice. Pic: Paolo Minoli - Credit: Archant

UCS put in a spirited display against Hammersmith but a home defeat condemned the league’s bottom side to their 10th consecutive loss as they went down 34-17 in London Division Two North-West.

The Old Boys trailed 17-3 at the interval but captain James Boyde scored twice in the second half and, with four minutes left, the hosts were just five points down and pushing for a winning score – only to concede twice late on.

UCS dominated the opening quarter of the game but, despite battering at the door, they encountered solid resistance from the tough-tackling visitors.

Instead, it was Hammersmith who took the lead, turning the ball over 15 metres from their own line and breaking over the halfway line before ultimately creating an overlap scoring a converted try.

They went on to add a penalty and a second converted touchdown before UCS finally got on the scoreboard with a Tom Bamford penalty.

The Old Boys were 14 points down at half-time but they refused to submit, showing real strength and aggression in both attack and defence and again dominating the game – but history repeated itself as they failed to capitalise and conconceded a try against the run of play.

UCS fought back though, with Boyde and James May leading from the front, and they were finally rewarded as Boyde touched down twice – the second from a pushover scrum – to narrow the gap to 22-17.

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With four minutes left, the Old Boys had the momentum, and Bamford rifled a diagonal kick deep into the opposition 22, while four chasers closed down the Hammersmith full-back as he collected the ball 15 metres from his line.

Unfortunately, he managed to escape two of the would-be tacklers and sprint up the touchline to set up a breakaway score. Then, with Hammsermith throwing caution to the wind and searching for a losing bonus point, they were undone once more in the final moments.

UCS Old Boys: C Henk, A Henk, Ghanem (Noonan), May, Boyde, Pope (Orr), Zabci, Jovanovic, O’Dwyer, Bamford, Rollo-Walker, Loughnan, Sleath, Oulton (Lowe), Davidson