Feb 3 2011 By Jon Batham, Harrow Observer
HERTS/MIDDLESEX TWO Belsize Park Pinner & Grammarians 17
PINNER & Grammarians suffered a gut-wrenching last-kick defeat away at Belsize Park on Saturday.
Heavily beaten by their opponents the last time the two sides met, P&G matched their hosts throughout the 80 minutes and looked the better side in open play, only for a second of ill-discipline to undo their good work.
With the 80 minutes up on the clock, the ball still in play and the visitors hanging on to a 17-15 lead, an over-eagerness to get the ball and put it into touch led to hands in the ruck, presenting Belsize Park with the winning penalty.
The whistle immediately blew to signal defeat for P&G in a game they should have won.
The hosts had most of the early possession and eventually took the lead courtesy of a penalty.
However, P&G were on the attack straight from the restart and sucked in the hosts' defence to create a large overlap. Centre Alex Goring became the main beneficiary of the space and he switched on the gas to power over the line. The score was converted to leave the visitors 7-3 to the good.
Belsize Park responded with some tight forward play and, aided by a succession of penalties, they created an opening for their No 8 to score a try to put the hosts 10-7 ahead at the interval.
Pinner came out firing after the break and were soon ahead again as skipper Sibilant took a brilliant diagonal line to cut through and score.
But the hosts responded by exploiting a weakness on the blind-side of the P&G defence to register a try of their own.
Trailing 15-12, but with their opponents flagging from the brutal nature of the contest, P&G looked to have won it when Bernie Richter crossed the whitewash with just eight minutes left, but then came those fateful final seconds.
Meanwhile, P&G's seconds had a rare outing and a first win as they beat Belsize Park 19-12.
There was a brace of tries for No 8 Angus Wilson and a very popular score for club chairman Andy Wright on a day when players were queuing up to wear the red and blue shirts.