Stevenage’s late charge is not enough
Stevenage Town 10 Welwyn 15 Stags narrowly lost out in this local league derby as Welwyn recorded their fourth victory in a row to maintain their 100 per cent start to the season. In a scrappy and often bruising encounter, Welwyn came out on top having be
Stevenage Town 10
Stags narrowly lost out in this local league derby as Welwyn recorded their fourth victory in a row to maintain their 100 per cent start to the season.
In a scrappy and often bruising encounter, Welwyn came out on top having been 15 points up at one stage.
Welwyn had an early penalty opportunity but Gareth Hughes' kick was thrown off course by a tricky crossfield wind.
The Welwyn breakthrough came on 10 minutes. Henry Child raced through the backline to catch a well-directed chip by Hughes and speed over the line for the try.
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Stags responded well and fought their way back into the game. Their forwards started to compete vigorously at the rucks and the backs made several breaks in midfield.
Although Welwyn had lost their dominance in the pack, the defence showed their quality and Stevenage were unable to score despite a sustained period of pressure.
After the interval, Welwyn concentrated on using their forwards to gain ground, as the wind was making passing rugby more difficult.
Welwyn scored again when Ian Ward outpaced the Town back row and passed it to captain Dave Orton, who scored near the posts.
Hughes added the conversion and kicked a penalty minutes later to put Welwyn 15-0 up.
The visitors tried to build on their lead in the last quarter of the game but Stevenage mounted a fightback.
Welwyn prop Julian Emery was forced to leave the field with blood pouring from a head wound.
Stevenage scored two tries late in the game through a combination of good handling and a defence that had been made fragile by the volume of penalties they conceded.
Stags pressurised and probed their defence to find an opening for Gareth Roberts to touch down.
With little time remaining, the Welwyn restart was immediately brought back with a Stags offensive that stretched Welwyn out wide and provided a slither of space for winger Michael Wilson to score in the corner.
Welwyn narrowly saw the game out for a slender win.