Premier Prima performance

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A PLACE in the ‘super 16’ stage of the prestigious Prima Tiger Cup competition will mean a trip to the home of Leicester Tigers, for Market Harborough RFC under-10s.

The Harborough youngsters booked their slot at Welford Road in the December 1 showdown through their success in the preliminary phase at the weekend.

They were in action at Lutterworth and were placed in a tough group with Hinckley, Market Bosworth, Loughborough and Bury St Edmunds.

First opponents were Hinckley and Harborough won a tough encounter 2-0. Committed forward play from GeorgeHallam, Will Earland and Sam Bullock, with support from the backs too, saw them taking advantage at the breakdown.

First half resistance was broken by Tyler Smith, who finished off a fine team move for a try.

Further pressure in the second half was rewarded when George Hooper broke free and sent in Billy Stamp-Ellam for the second score.

The against Bury St Edmunds saw Shea Harley and Will and Zack Green come in to rest Hallam, Bullock and Earland. Will Salvesen came in at scrum half and was one of the scorers in a 3-0 win.

Joey Stamp and Thomas Kemp also touched down.

Third up were Loughborough and a tight game dominated by the forwards ensued. However the superior Harborough pack saw them bossing the set piece, resulting in several turnovers.

From one breakdown the ball fell to Earland, who powered through to score the decisive solitary try.

A nervous wait for a fourth game proved unnecessary as other results meant Harborough couldn’t be caught, so they finished unbeaten and group winners.

ON-FIRE Harborough under-13s, who have conceded only one try in the last six games, mauled hosts Melton 57-0 in their latest conquest.

The first try was scored in less than a minute, with Henry Povoas giving the hosts a taste of what was to come.

Melton fought back initially with creditable commitment but Harborough won a scrum against the head and the forwards rattled up the field for Povoas to score again.

The scorer then turned provider for Sam Pindling, and Max Dalby hit the conversion.

Ross Primrose also scorched over to make the half-time score 22-0.

Will Hallam added to his sterling work all game with a strong drive from the base of a scrum to set up Povoas’s third try.

The latter capitalised on good wing work by Henry Ingram to make the line again, followed by a Cameron Jordan try. Scrum half Mathew Stamp got on the score sheet with a well-taken brace, and Pindling capped a superb performance with a break that sent in Dalby to score, before grabbing the last try for himself.

A LARGE band of travelling supporters could not prevent a county cup second round defeat for Harborough under-14s at Leicester Forest.

Leading up to the tie Harborough had been playing well while Forest, last year’s winners, had lost some games so the scene was set for a close encounter.

In the event, Forest won through 34-7, leaving Harborough to contest the Plate Competition.

The hosts started the stronger and from an early penalty their hooker barged through some loose tackles to score.

Forest’s aggression and positive decision-making constantly had Harborough on the defensive.

Some brave tackling was a feature in the circumstances, with the tackle of the match coming from Jerzy Wydra.

However the constant pressure led to three more Forest tries in the first half.

A regrouped Harborough gained a consolation in the second period when Harry Wells broke to set up a try for Sam Grahamslaw, converted by Will Pollard.

Harborough finished the game strongly but the combination of Forest’s handling and organisational supremacy ensured the victory.

HARBOROUGH under-12s sent a mixed ability squad to Peterborough to play the hosts and St Neots.

Persistent heavy rain greeted the start of the first game against St Neots, however Harborough’s forwards, led by Charlie Hilton and Ben Richards, were dominant.

The backs demonstrated fine handling and running skills and the supremacy allowed Harborough to turn round 20-0 up following tries from Taran Mann, William Munn, Hilton and Richards.

The second half continued in the same vein, with hooker Matthew Priestley winning every put in, giving a solid base and resulting in tries for Rhys Cook, Jack Houilhan, Munn, Matthew James and Harvey Clarke for a 45-0 triump.

Harborough took to the field against Peterborough full of aggression and were again dominant, with Richards and Priestley controlling proceedings up front.

Tries followed by Houlihan and James after two excellent runs from winger Ted Brown.

Another Richards roll-in for a try rewarded the forwards and with the last play of the first half Clarke crossed to put Harborough in control – to such an extent the opposition decided they could no longer continue.

HARBOROUGH under-16s suffered their first defeat of the season despite a late fightback at Market Bosworth.

Missing players on county duty showed and a pumped-up Bosworth side took control from the start.

However after 15 minutes they had only a single penalty to show for their efforts.

Harborough stunned them by taking the lead when Jayk Dressler crashed over for a score between the posts.

This was converted by James Stubbs.

Bosworth struck back with a converted try themselves to retake the lead but, not to be outdone, Harborough edged ahead again through No 8 George Thornton.

Bosworth, though, were in the ascendancy and after scoring a further try, quickly added another when they fielded the kick-off and ran through poor defence.

The second half started as the first had ended with Bosworth running in two tries, before visiting skipper Thornton again led from the front to power over from 22 metres.

Harborough were, however, making too many sloppy mistakes, which helped Bosworth extend their lead to 41-17.

This appeared to inspire Harborough, who replied with two more Thornton tries, both converted by Stubbs, bringing the score to 41-31.

Bosworth were beginning to worry but time was on their side and this was the final score.