Hartpury fall to first home defeat against
A brace from Mike Allan helped Hertford cause a major upset by inflicting a first home defeat of the campaign on high-flying Hartpury College, who spurned the opportunity to cut the gap on leaders Richmond.
The students opened the scoring after just 91 seconds when flanker Mike Craven stormed home from halfway, but it was Hertford who dominated the first half and they equalised through impressive centre Luke Sloane on 21 minutes.
Hertford continued to control the game and Allan grabbed his first try three minutes after the restart following a jinking run, with Olly Forrest converting.
The visitors then stunned their opponents with two tries in seven minutes, the first coming from Allan after Hartpury were turned over deep inside their own territory and the second from replacement Kyle Lemon, who touched down in the corner from a scrum move to secure the bonus point and a 24-5 lead.
Hartpury looked dead and buried when skipper Nathan Thomas was yellow carded with 24 minutes remaining, but Dan Robson sparked a fight-back when he gathered his own neat chip to score out wide.
The rejuvenated Gloucestershire side’s cause was aided when Hertford prop Jon Patton was sin binned and they took immediate advantage with a try from Richard Barrington from a rolling maul.
Hartpury looked on course to complete a remarkable comeback when Craven glided over for his second 10 minutes from time, but the home side ran out of steam and Hertford held on for victory.
Final score: Hartpury College 22-24 Hertford
Squad: 15 Speirs 14 Allanson 13 Dempsey 12 Hayes 11 Field 10 Stevenson 9 Robson (1T, 1C) 1 Morris 2 Britton 3 Thorne 4 Hoy 5 Casson 6 Langley 7 Craven (2T) 8 Thomas (capt., sin bin 56’-66’) 16 Collins 17 Barrington (1T) 18 Head 19 Mills 20 Barnes
Hartpury College RFC now takes a three-week break from league action over the Christmas period, with their next fixture away at Taunton on Saturday 7th January.
Hartpury College RFC would like to thank all their followers for their generous support in 2011 and to wish them a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
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