Hard work un­done in fi­nal quar­ter spree

Surrey Advertiser - - Front Page - Lon­don & SE Premier Hert­ford 47 Guild­ford 20

GUILD­FORD lost their open­ing game of the sea­son against a strong Hert­ford team af­ter a brave bat­tle.

The home side even­tu­ally ran out hand­some win­ners with a blis­ter­ing spell in the last 13 min­utes as they amassed 28 unan­swered points to post a score that had looked un­likely.

In near per­fect con­di­tions for rugby, Hert­ford spurned an early chance to gain three points as Sean Tay­lor was awry with his penalty at­tempt, in con­trast Guild­ford’s Gareth Davies split the sticks on 10 min­utes, from a de­cent dis­tance out, to open the scor­ing 0-3.

Hert­ford’s ri­poste was al­most im­me­di­ate as an ath­letic break in mid­field by cen­tre Ar­ron Lowe was a cat­a­lyst for some neat in­ter­play which ended with left wing Kyle Le­mon div­ing in wide out for an un­con­verted score.

Guild­ford re­grouped and, af­ter good pres­sure, scored when Ol­lie Mill­ward pow­ered over from a close quar­ter driv­ing maul, Davies was on tar­get with the ex­tras and the same player stretched the vis­i­tors’ lead fur­ther with another penalty as Hert­ford in­fringed at the break­down.

Not long be­fore the in­ter­val Hert­ford re­duced the deficit to one point as, from a li­ne­out maul deep in Guild­ford’s red zone, flanker Chris Joan­nou peeled off to force him­self over the line to score; Tay­lor im­proved this fur­ther with the two.

Three min­utes into the sec­ond pe­riod the home side scored again.

Right wing Jack Mitchell made a splen­did break from within his own 22 be­fore re­leas­ing cen­tre Stu­art Smart, who in turn un­leashed re­place­ment wing Michael Allen to score with his first touch. Tay­lor ar­rowed the ball through the sticks to snare the two points.

Once again the home side failed to pre­vent a quick re­ply as Guild­ford dis­played great hands to put Luke Rust in un­der the posts and give Davies a rou­tine con­ver­sion, and at 20-19 Guild­ford re­gained the lead.

Com­ing into the home straight it looked as if it could be a nervy fin­ish but on 67 min­utes scrum half Ben Creasey, with a neat show and go, found a hole in the vis­i­tors’ defence to scam­per in be­hind the posts and give Tay­lor a tap in con­ver­sion.

Buoyed by this the home side found another gear and scored sev­eral tries tak­ing the game away from Guild­ford.

With the game all but over, flanker Ol­lie Cain made a mus­cu­lar 20 me­tres to get Hert­ford on the front foot, and a cou­ple of rucks later Creasey used good feet to dance through a tired defence to claim his brace un­der the up­rights, Tay­lor split the same for 47-20.

Guild­ford coach Dave Ward said: “We did well for a large part of the game but rather like last year, Hert­ford found a golden touch for 20 min­utes and pun­ished us hard.”

Mem­bers of G-Force, Guild­for­dians’ Touch rugby team, cel­e­brate af­ter win­ning their latest sil­ver­ware

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