Feb 7 2013 by Matt Lewis, Harrow Observer
Harrow 27 Bank of England 27
PAUL Carroll came out of retirement to produce an outstanding scrummaging performance as Harrow were held to a draw by Bank of England – although it could have been worse for the league leaders.
Carroll answered the call from Chris West and played his first spell of competitive rugby this season, with much of the table toppers’ squad unavailable for selection and only the post saved Harrow from their second defeat of the campaign in the end.
Second-placed OMT recorded a fine try bonus point victory against third-placed Hackney by 30-20 to get within seven-points of Harrow with a game in hand, while Hackney are now 14 points behind.
Gary Conroy, Hywell Gosling and Walter O’Malley were in Cardiff to watch Wales lose to Ireland this weekend, Nick Battern at Twickenham for England’s victory over Scotland, while Josh Irons was also out of the picture, forcing the home side into a number of changes against B of E.
Carroll’s return was followed by Sean Pratt moving from full back to cover the vital scrum half position, while Simon Bram returned to the midfield and Christian Witney went to full back.
B of E started quickly and had their first try within 90 seconds of the kick-off, however they missed the conversion and Shane Togher made them pay with an instant response, kicked over by Witney 7-5.
Witney was in good form and with his help, as well as a superb try from Bram, the hosts went in at the break with a healthy 17-8 lead.
Home hooker Togher had a magnificent match, both in the tight and loose, and opened the scoring at the beginning of the second half with his second try.
That took the lead to 14 points, but a further converted try by Bank, following the sin bin of Sihaloho Sherman for a silly block, changed the game.
Bank scored again before Lee Huggett went up the other end to put Harrow 27-15 ahead.
But B of E’s tails were up and two more tries in the last 10 minutes, the first converted, brought them to 27-27 all with an easy conversion on the 22 slight to the left of the posts to take the game.
However, the Bank kicker who had kicked well all match could not believe it when he pushed his kick on to the upright and Harrow were saved.