Hertford 33 v 25 Sidcup
HERTFORD secured another bonus point victory but were made to fight all the way to the final whistle to protect their place at the top of the table .....
Match report received from Chesty
HERTFORD secured another bonus point victory but were made to fight all the way to the final whistle to protect their place at the top of the table by a well drilled Sidcup outfit.
Things didn’t quite go to plan for Hertford in the first half, Ben Lloyd’s kick off went straight into touch and that set the pattern of what was to follow from the hosts in a stuttering start.
With all four of lineouts lost and Sidcup doing very well to disrupt the ball at the breakdown, making life difficult for scrum half Jack Mitchell.
Two promising attacks close to the Sidcup line ended with the ball being knocked on and then being lost. The visitors took advantage of some slack tackling to show great hands in a flowing move and go over for a try in the 12th minute, with full back James Poland taking the final pass from Joshua Twyford who converted the score.
Hertford responded by going over the whitewash in the 19th minute as Stuart Smart’s pass in the centre was half intercepted but the ball fell kindly for Lloyd who snapped in up to go over under the posts. Taylor converted and it was all square at 7-7.
From the re start flanker Dan Belton won the ball and off loaded to winger Kyle Lemon to go over in the left corner. Taylor added a fine conversion and Hertford suddenly had their tails up at 14-7. But the momentum was lost shortly afterwards as they went over the top as Sidcup attacked close to their 22 and Twyford split the posts with a penalty.
The visitors then camped close to the Hertford line and strung together at least six phases of pick and go before they won a penalty and Twyford was on target to cut the deficit to 14-13.
Leading up to the break play became scrappy, with Hertford’s lineout still going badly awry, handing the advantage to Sidcup in terms of possession.
Another series of Sidcup phases saw Hertford pinned back in their own 22, and they eventually worked the ball to the line despite some solid defence, with the prop barrelling over for a converted score to lead 20-14 at the break.
Hertford started the second half in a more positive fashion and were on the scoreboard early as Aaron Lowe took a quick lineout to Dan Belton who off loaded to the fast charging Michael Allan for a score in the corner. Taylor missed the conversion but Hertford now trailed by just a point at 20-19.
Ironically, Hertford’s bonus point score came following another lost lineout close to the halfway line. The clearing kick was charged down and swift hands between Ben Lloyd, Michael Allan and Sean Taylor saw number eight Torran MacDougall finish off the move.
With Taylor adding the extras Hertford were now back in the lead at 26-20.
But Sidcup weren’t done and they put Hertford under the cosh for the next 10 minutes, camping in the home side’s red zone.
Scrum after scrum was re-set until the referee finally lost patience and skipper Josh Corcoran was sin-binned.
While Hertford worked hard to repel each drive forward, Sidcup scrum half Benjamin Ibrahim eventually crashed through a gap to score in the corner.
A difficult conversion was missed and with Hertford leading by just one point, 26-25 with 15 minutes to go it was going to be a nerve jangling finish.
With the clock on 79 minutes Jack Mitchell made sure of the result with an excellent solo try, converted by Sean Taylor to secure the points and deny Sidcup what would have been a well-deserved losing bonus point.