Hertford 43 Tunbridge Wells 17

HEAVY DUTY Nick Doherty puts in a strong tackle PHOTO: Bruce Elliott

PROMOTION candidates Hertford produced their finest half of rugby of the season to put Wells on the back foot. Though they recovered well in the second half, they were unable to claw back the deficit.

Hertford, who are fourth in the London and South-East Premier Division, were set on their way by man of the match Ben Creasey, the scrum-half scoring on eight minutes after a burst through the middle for a converted try.

Tries then came at regular intervals as Wells struggled to gain ball and plug gaps in midfield.

Full-back Sean Taylor was also having an outstanding game and he added the second try on 15 minutes, though he could not convert it.

The home side then scored three times in as many minutes to take the game away from Wells.

Flanker Jack Elston scored, then a rolling maul try after a penalty to the corner handed Hertford their try bonus point. Second-rower James Keens charged through to make it 31-0 on the half-hour.

The score remained the same until half-time to leave Wells staring down the barrel. But debutant Ben Williams  brought more aggression when he came on in the second period.

Wells’ pack began to exert more influence, and Christian Earle made a 40-metre line break but could not find support to finish the move.

Finally after 55 minutes Mike Hathaway showed real physicality to get over the line, with Frank Reynolds adding the conversion.

Hertford were not finished, however, and Creasey dummied his way over from a breakdown in front of the posts on the hour, then repeated the dose out wide for his hat-trick.

But left wing Matt Spicer went in for Wells after a good interpassing movement on the left, and then from a similar move the other side of the pitch Max Hobbs scored on his return to the side.

Wells remain in sixth place and now face a vital game against Dorking, who are only two points behind them, at St Marks on Saturday (March 3, kick-off 3pm).