Oct 7 2010 By Tim Edwards
Harrow are determined to leave RFU bosses red-faced after this 16 try blitz cast doubt over the Herts & Middlesex competition committee's decision to veto their promotion.
The club stormed to the Herts/Middlesex Division 4 title last season and reached the final of the Middlesex Vase.
However, a revamp of the league structure saw the Herts/Middlesex competition shrink to just three divisions with Harrow, much to their displeasure, placed in the bottom tier, 3.
Rather than allow Harrow to feature in the new Division 2 their place went to Old Tottonians by virtue of them finishing higher in their league, Herts/Middlesex 3, last season. Totts were given the option by the Herts & Middlesex Competitions committee to not take promotion, but they pressed ahead.
However, Harrow have used the decision as motivation to prove they are too strong for the bottom rung of the competition, and that was proved in Saturday's annihilation, which was brought to an end ten minutes early to save BA from further punishment.
Sean Pratt scored four tries while Welsh full-back Leigh Hicks helped himself to his second successive hat-trick. The other try scorers were Hywel Gosling (2), Jimmy Rowlands (2) Brendan O'Sullivan, Shane Togher, Stewart Read, Hylan Proctor and Gary Conroy.
Andy Elliott had a superb day with the boot, nailing eight conversions with both Rowlands and Read chipping in with the others.
Skipper Mark Beauchamp said he hopes the RFU bosses who took the decision to deny Harrow their promotion are squirming in their seats.
“We sent out a major statement to the division, Middlesex Rugby and everyone keeping their eye on what is happening here,” said the South African. “When we made our case to be promoted to Herts/Middlesex 2 we felt confident we could win promotion immediately to Herts/Middlesex 1 and then London 3.
“We are now a year behind in that plan but we firmly believe that with a lot of hard work we can achieve three successive promotions to reach the level this club should be playing at, such is the quality of the squad.”
Beauchamp wants his team to continue proving the gulf in class by storming to a clean sweep of bonus point victories prior to the Christmas break, something he thinks will make the competition bosses sit up and take notice.
“Maybe they would look at us then and think 'maybe we did make the wrong decision'”, he added. “It is still early but we are very confident this season.”
Thamesians are tasked with devising a plan to stifle the free-scoring visitors on Saturday.