This was an exciting contest that kept the large crowd on their toes for the full 80 minutes of play. Welwyn were the first to put points on the board after 8 minutes when Rob Picken barrelled over from a scrum 5m from the Verulamians line to score his first try. Harry Di-Lieto made light work of the conversion and Welwyn had a 7-0 lead. Welwyn nearly scored a second try after some slick inter passing of the ball but the final past was knocked on and the opportunity was lost. However, from a Welwyn lineout 5m from the Verulamians line, Rob Picken again gathered the ball and dived over the line for his second try. Harry Di-Lieto again converted and Welwyn looked comfortable with a 14-0 lead. Dan Comben came on to replace Cameron Patey for Welwyn. Verulamians, however, were not prepared to let the home side have everything their way and scored a converted try of their own after 28 minutes of play. Welwyn’s forwards had been dominant throughout and they opted for a scrum from a penalty 5m from the Verulamians line. Picken again gathered the ball but was impeded as he dived for the line and landed badly on his shoulder. The referee awarded a penalty try but Picken had to leave the field of play for the remainder of the game and was replaced by Joe Burns. Patey resumed his place at prop with 38 minutes gone and Verulamians added to their score with a well kicked penalty, bringing the half time score to 21-10.
Welwyn started the second half strongly with a well worked backs move that allowed Harry Gillespie to dance over the Verulamians line for Welwyn’s bonus point try. Harry Di-Lieto again converted and Welwyn looked comfortable with a 28-10 lead. A determined Verulamians team put together some good passages of play and scurried over for an unconverted try halfway through the second half. Welwyn managed to increase their score to 31-15 after a beautifully struck penalty by Harry Di-Lieto but the Verulamians team had a storming final 20 minutes and scored two converted tries to bring the final score to 31-29.
Updated 10:53 - 17 Mar 2018 by Rob Picken