Hertfordshire will play for a Bill Beaumont Cup final place at Twickenham Stadium when they host pool rivals Gloucestershire at Old Albanian RFC this Saturday (May 21, kick off 3pm).
Both teams have two wins out of two in the south pool of the top division of the County Championship, and the winner-takes-all meeting near St Albans will decide who goes through to meet the winners from the northern group, Cheshire or Lancashire, at the Home of England Rugby on May 29.
Herts maintained their fine form with the county’s record win over Kent, 48-7 with six tries to one at Westcombe Park RFC last Saturday (May 14). Building on the previous week’s first ever win in Cornwall, captain Brett McNamee and his side outperformed Kent in the key areas of defence, counter attack and support work.
Honours were even in the set pieces, but the aggressive tackling of the Herts back row and backs constantly disrupted the Kent possession to snuff out the attacking potential of their backs.
In contrast the Herts backs and forwards, led by excellent performances by the half backs, James Shanahan and Stefan Liebenberg, combined well to attack or counter attack at almost every opportunity, which resulted in three tries in each half.
Hertfordshire, 48-7 v Kent: Richard Gregg (Old Albanian); Ian Crompton (Hertford), Chris Lombaard (Old Albanian), Stuart Smart (Hertford), Chris May (Old Albanian); James Shanahan (Old Albanian), Stefan Liebenberg (Old Albanian); James Ellershaw (Old Albanian), Brett MacNamee (Hertford, captain), Rob Schillaci (Hertford), Craig South (Hertford), David Shotton (Tring), Lawrence White (Old Albanian), Chris Rainbow (Hertford), Josh Corcoran (Hertford). Replacements, all used: Wes Cope (Old Albanian), Alex Brown (Old Albanian), Arran Macdougall (Hertford), Torran Macdougall (Hertford), Ollie Cooper-Miller (Old Albanian), Tom Newton (Tring), Zac Vinnicombe (Old Albanian).
Scorers: Hertfordshire: tries: Lombaard 2 (15 and 75 mins), May (20), Crompton (39), Liebenberg (56), Cope (59); cons: Gregg 3, Smart 3; pens: Gregg 2. Kent: try: May (79); con: Humphries.
RFU County Championship – Bill Beaumont Cup 2010-11
Pool 1 South
May 7: Cornwall 18 Hertfordshire 25, Gloucestershire 33 Kent 26
May 14: Gloucestershire 44 Cornwall 23, Kent 7 Hertfordshire 48
May 21: Hertfordshire v Gloucestershire, Kent v Cornwall.
Pool 1 North
May 7: Lancashire 46 Warwickshire 12, Yorkshire 10 Cheshire 18
May 14: Lancashire 26 Yorkshire 15, Warwickshire 15 Cheshire 36
May 21: Cheshire v Lancashire, Yorkshire v Warwickshire.
Bill Beaumont Cup Final, Sunday May 29, at Twickenham Stadium, 4.30pm:
Pool 1 South winner (Hertfordshire or Gloucestershire) v Pool 1 North winner (Cheshire or Lancashire),