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1st XV - Match centre

Hertford
Westcombe Park
Full time
M Dowding, D Hamilton
M Zanirato (2)
M Zanirato
Sat 4 Nov 14:30 - London & SE Division - London & SE Premier

Westcombe Park 17 - Hertford 39

Combe hit hard by a Hertford side on song.

Any hopes that Combe might this weekend turn round their season were quashed as they came up against a Hertford side on top of their form. Hertford always present a stiff challenge especially on their home ground. The home team were on the button in attack and defence, and keen to deny Combe any space or opportunities. Hertford rattled in five tries, all by wingers. Combe in reply ran in two, both by wingers, in some small consolation. After rain earlier in the day the sun was out for kick-off and a well-fed, large home crowd were determined to enjoy their day.

The first quarter was scoreless. From the start Hertford’s second row was almost over the line but was tackled short, then after a drive from a line-out the other end, Combe’s Will Robinson made space for Dave Bonner who was on his knees just inches from the try line. Thereafter it was stalemate as both sides ran through the phases without making big dents in defence. Hertford’s other second row was clear and had support. Desperate Combe defence conceded a penalty in front of the posts and full back Sean Taylor had the first of his successful kicks at goal. 3-0. A burst of activity. Hertford chipped back the re-start, winger Richard Streets chased, gathered and streaked down the touchline in at the corner and round to the posts. 10-0. Miki Zanirato knocked over a penalty for Combe after good work by the pack, but winger Streets was soon in at the corner again. Try converted, 17-3, then another penalty for the home side. 20-3. With half-time looming Combe were pressing in the left corner, but Hertford held out.

Combe were still in the game. They had battled up the slope in the first half, their defence was just about holding, but they needed to make bigger inroads in the stubborn home defence. But such hopes were quickly dashed. Hertford’s prop escaped from the back of a line-out on Combe’s twenty-two to set up quick ball out to the left wing, Richard Allan, over in the corner, no conversion, 25-3. Playing down the slope it was now uphill for Combe, thirty minutes or so still to go. But Combe were still game. Get in the opposition twenty-two there would be chances. Will Robinson made another break, and had Dan Fox in support only to be brought down by a last gasp tap tackle. As Hertford tried to run the ball out from their own line, Combe’s winger off the bench, Michael Dowding stole an interception, and forced his way over. Miki Zanirato added the conversion. 25-10. But Hertford’s reply was immediate, again from quick ball spun wide. Their winger off the bench, Kyle Lemon was over in the corner and round to the posts. In-off the upright conversion, 32-10. It now gets a bit frantic, up and down, side to side, back and forth. A quickly taken line-out by Hertford sees them soon up the other end and Lemon squeezes in at the corner for his second. Try converted. 39-10. Into the last quarter. Hertford have the game won, but will not come close again as Combe stake a position in the opposition half. Dan Hamilton is now prominent. He almost puts in Michael Dowding for another score, has a good counter attack, supports Miki Zanirato on a thrust. But Hertford are defending on the brink and over. It costs them two more yellow cards and a string of penalties, and their defence eventually succumbs. Dan Hamilton is in space down the left, and he still has work to do, but makes it over and round to the posts, to give Miki Zanirato an easy shot for a conversion. 39-17. Full time. It was a better performance by Combe despite the scoreline suggesting otherwise. They had come up against a good side on good form.

Next week Combe are at home to second in the table, Barnes, kick-off 2.00pm (TBC), preceded by a Supporters’ Lunch.

Westcombe Park XV: B. Bateup; J. Livett, B. Saffery, D. Bonner, D. Hamilton; W. Robinson, M. Zanirato; J. Saunders, J. Bonner, J. Forsyth, T. Calohard, T. Christopher, C. Scott, D. Fox, C. O’Sullivan.
Bench: J. Snape, J. Dennett, M. Dowding.

Match reporter - Bruce Mackenzie.

Key moments

26:00
Penalty Miki Zanirato kicks a penalty for Westcombe Park
55:00
Try Mike Dowding scores for Westcombe Park
56:00
Conversion Miki Zanirato kicks a conversion for Westcombe Park
70:00
Try Dan Hamilton scores for Westcombe Park
71:00
Conversion Miki Zanirato kicks a conversion for Westcombe Park

Highlights

View 0 new events
71:00 Conversion 0 - 17
Miki Zanirato kicks a conversion for Westcombe Park
70:00 Try 0 - 15
Dan Hamilton scores for Westcombe Park
56:00 Conversion 0 - 10
Miki Zanirato kicks a conversion for Westcombe Park
55:00 Try 0 - 8
Mike Dowding scores for Westcombe Park
55:00 Sub On
James Dennett is substituted on for Westcombe Park
40:00 Sub On
James Snape is substituted on for Westcombe Park
End of period 1
26:00 Penalty 0 - 3
Miki Zanirato kicks a penalty for Westcombe Park
25:00 Sub On
Mike Dowding is substituted on for Westcombe Park
Start of the game
Replay game

As it happened

  • Hertford
  • Westcombe Park
  • 0
  • Mike Dowding Sub On 25:00'
  • Miki Zanirato Penalty 26:00'
  • James Snape Sub On 40:00'
  • Mike Dowding Try 55:00'
  • James Dennett Sub On 55:00'
  • Miki Zanirato Conversion 56:00'
  • Dan Hamilton Try 70:00'
  • Miki Zanirato Conversion 71:00'

Team selection

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League round up

Other London & SE Premier results

Dorking
42
7
32
31
Sutton & Epsom
5
26
Barnes

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League table

# Team Pl Pts
8. Dorking 10 26
9. Guildford 10 25
10. Tunbridge Wells 10 25
11. Shelford 10 17
12. Westcombe Park 10 13
13. Southend Saxons 10 11
14. Towcestrians 10 6

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