Wigley’s try is not enough as Hampstead are beaten by leaders Fullerians

Hampstead's Dan Wigley (centre). Pic: Paolo Minoli

Hampstead's Dan Wigley (centre). Pic: Paolo Minoli - Credit: Archant

Dan Wigley’s second-half try was not enough for Hampstead as their five-match unbeaten run was brought to an end in a 15-8 defeat aaway against league leaders Fullerians in London North-West Division Two.

With Hampstead’s defence the best in the league and Fullerians fielding the most potent attack the match promised to be a tight affair, and so it proved in a nip-tuck first half in which each side managed just a penalty apiece.

An infringement at the breakdown from Hampstead led to Fullerians kicking the first penalty of the day. Hampstead then won a penalty of their own, which they kicked to the corner but, having won the resulting line-out, they were held up short of the line.

A slip at the scrum by the Fullerians tight-head gave Hampstead a second penalty, this time within kicking distance and Dan Dimoline slotted it through the posts to level, and at half-time the contest was tightly poised.

Fullerians gradually asserted themselves in the second half, taking advantage of their weight advantage and the small pitch. The pressure eventually told as the hosts won a scrum on the five-metre line, and the pack saw their opportunity to drive over for a try. The conversion followed and suddenly Hampstead saw the game slipping away.

They produced a string of attacks but failed to convert them into points and Fullerians did not make the same mistake. Finding themselves once more deep inside Hampstead territory, they pushed over the line to extend their lead.

This time the conversion was missed, and Hampstead sensed a chance to respond, driven on by captain Andy McEwen. Hampstead won a penalty which Dimoline kicked for the corner, and this time there were no mistakes in the maul as Wigley got over the line to bring his side to within seven points of Fullerians.

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Hampstead continued to press but wasted another chance having won the line-out, as a knock-on allowed the hosts to retrieve the ball - and Fullerians rallied, playing out the final stages inside their own half as Hampstead were frustrated.