Enfield Ignatians dealt with very tricky conditions to stage a memorable 18-14 comeback win against second-placed Welwyn in London Two North-West on Saturday.

A delighted player-coach Shane Manning said: “We had almost no self-belief in the first 10 minutes, but the second half was very good as we stuck to the game (plan) and played in the right areas of the field.

“It just goes to show we can compete with anyone (in the league) and, it’s a big if, providing we stick to the game plan structure and our systems, we can do well.”

Ignatians were scarcely at the races early on and poor defence around the fringes allowed fast-starting Welwyn to open up a 14-3 lead in the first nine minutes.

The blue and golds claimed their only points of the half via a well-taken penalty from scrum-half Paul Duke, who shared the man of the match award with his fellow half-back Luke Haverly.

Despite the fierce wind, Ignatians got better as the game wore on and, although they were unable to capitalise when the visitors had a man sin-binned, they rebounded strongly after the break.

Having rung the changes, the home side were soon on the front foot and, after winning the penalty in the first minute of the half, they deftly farmed the catch and drive from the lineout.

The blue and golds’ maul rumbled forward fully 25 metres before a secondary surge enabled hooker Ben Mills to force his way over as Ignatians moved to within six points.

Ignatians’ second try was of similar ilk as Duke drilled the ball to within a metre of the line and, from the attacking lineout, prop Christo Kasabi mauled his way over.

Duke added the extras and later added a well-struck penalty to make the game safe, as Ignatians claimed their third home win in four games.

Not that it was all plain sailing for Ignatians for they also had a player yellow carded and, despite coming under pressure, their much-improved defence enabled them to keep Welwyn pinned back.

Captain Dave Gear said: “We were a little overawed by Welwyn in the first 10 minutes of the game, and were perhaps too mindful of their second place in the league, but we came back strongly after that.”

Ignatians are next in action in the league on November 17 when they are away to Chiswick.