opening exchanges the game shifted little in its momentum, with the pack providingexcellent fair to the waiting backs to create that spark. However, it wasn’t untilmidway through the first half that Harpenden created anything of note, an AlanBarton chip causing panic between the Tabard wing and fullback allowing Musket asonly Musket can to steal in and round his man with aplomb for a well-worked score.The conversion was added 10-0. With Harpenden now in the enviable position ofhaving both the lead, a massive territorial advantage and the tactical nouse to slaythe Tabard dragon, the Men in Black charitably let them back into the game. A scrumset between half way and fifteen metres from the far touchline, a run-of-the-millbackline move culminated in a sloppy 30 seconds for the visitors as the otherwiseimpeccable defence leaked and creaked. The Tabard outside centre stepping hismarker and slipping the ball to his forward counterpart who made a dive for the line,and the extra 2 points taken, the scores moved along to 10-8. The next 5 minutes,although only producing a mere 3 points from the boot of Barton proved pivotal, fromboth a psychological and hindsight perspective. Firstly, the Tabard number 8 was sin-binned for a dangerous tackle on feisty second row Harmer, and with Harpendenlooking to consolidate their current position found the resolve and determination toscore a further 3 points and cement their first half position 13-8.With the Jamaican patties releasing their own brand of complex carbohydrates intothe players’ blood streams, and presumably their pre-game flatulence allowed atleast the Harpenden backs an extra yard of pace the second half began. Read, whoworked tirelessly in the first half was replaced by Andy Brown (not the original), whosaunters and scuttles with a manner that both suggests that he is angry with theworld and angry with anyone who doesn’t hail from the north or indeed Harpenden.
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- Fall '16
- Jeff Miller