The London Welsh season came to a close with the addition of the Middlesex Bowl to the trophy cabinet but to do so they had to overcome the challenge of Finsbury Park, a club that has enjoyed six seasons of successive promotions.
Finsbury Park had a shaky start with the kick off falling short of 10m and although Welsh took play into Park's 22 they were unable to take advantage and the visitors earned a penalty to clear up field.
Park are promoted to London 3 North West next season and set out to show that the gulf between the two teams wasn’t as great as the league positions suggested. A break through the Welsh defence set up their first try with wing William Corcoran getting them off the mark. Ed Morden added the conversion.
It took less than two minutes for Welsh to level the try count. A drive towards the line put Courtney Maggs Jones over and he was on hand again five minutes later to score his second of the game. Both conversions were missed.
Finsbury Park could have levelled the scores when awarded a penalty on the edge of the Welsh 22 but the kick drifted wide. The home side turned up the pressure again and with 25 minutes on the clock extended their lead by another seven points. Good work by the pack came to a halt just short of the line and scrum half Elis Staines took the ball to dart round for his team’s third try. Lloyd Davies added the conversion.
Finsbury Park went on the attack again and looked dangerous getting within five metres of the Welsh line but were unable to score any further points before half time.
Half time: London Welsh 17 Finsbury Park 7
Welsh had the majority of possession and territory for the opening minutes of the second half and after 10 minutes were awarded a penalty inside Finsbury Park’s 22. A catch and drive from the line out took the pack close to the try line and when a gap opened Michael Griffiths went through to stretch the lead to 15 points.
Rhys Howells added the fifth try a little over five minutes later, deft footwork by the centre confusing the defence and creating a route to the line. Lloyd Davies’ conversion moved the score on to 29-7.
Finsbury Park responded almost immediately from the restart with a try from Patrick Joyce and whilst Welsh held a comfortable lead they would still need to work hard in the final 20 minutes.
London Welsh completed the scoring with a final try for Simon Davies. A mazy run across field by Tom May and straight running from Christopher Lilly set up the replacement wing to score in the corner.
Full time: London Welsh 34 Finsbury Park 12