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Men 1XV 19 v 17 Hackney RFC - Away League on 25 Mar 2023

Published on Sunday, 26 March 2023

Hackney 17-19 Hitchin

Hitchin travelled to Hackney Marshes for the second time in a fortnight. 11th placed Hackney were looking to end their season strongly, having beaten 4th placed Old Streetonians the previous Saturday.

Hitchin kicked off into a stiff breeze. The Hedgehogs earned an early penalty and in the second phase a dropped ball, adjudged to have bounced backwards, was scooped up by Flanker Fred Rooney who touched down for the opening score. 

Hackney scored their opener after ten minutes when their second row intercepted a loose pass and ran in from 30 metres.

Hackney took the lead after exploiting a mismatch on the blindside, allowing their Winger to score under the posts.

The hosts were awarded a penalty for an infringement in the maul, which they kicked to touch deep in the Hitchin 22. A rolling maul from the resultant lineout proved unstoppable and they held a 17-7 lead after 30 minutes.

Hitchin made headway back into the opposition half but were failing to stitch phases together, poor work at the ruck letting them down. They had some more defending to do, but held out until halftime.

Hackney received a yellow card for dissent, and Hitchin took advantage. Fly Half Simon Taylor stripped the ball, and three offloads took Hitchin deep into opposition 22. Centres Ian Crompton and Captain James Bolter combined, and although Bolter was tackled inches from the line, he offloaded to Fred Rooney for his and Hitchin's second.

Fly Half Simon Taylor earned a penalty for holding on at the ruck when Hackney were threatening to score. Again Hackney pressed but knocked on 10 metres out from the line.

With 10 minutes to play, Hitchin scored the try of the match. Taylor found Full Back Will Rooney on the loop, who fed to Crompton and then to Flanker Jack Galer, who carried to the 22, before offloading to Winger Phill Ryan. Quick hands found Winger Harry Dowrick, who stepped inside his opposite number and burned the cover defence to score under the posts.

With just over a minute to play, and the match now at uncontested scrums and Hitchin down to 14 men, Taylor carried powerfully to exit the 22, and Crompton kicked to touch. Hitchin held out and a Hackney knock on brought the match to a close. Final score Hackney 17-19 Hitchin.

The Hedgehogs turned in a stuttering performance, but found a way to win and finish their first season at level 7 in 5th place with a record of 12 wins, 1 draw and 9 losses.

Hitchin now move onto the Cup competitions, with Epping Upper Clapton at home next Saturday, before the County Cup final against Hemel Hempstead at Cheshunt on Thursday 6th April

Team Sean McGinnity, Gary Ayres, James Akrill, Jonathan Welsford, Edward Burbidge, Frederick Rooney, Jack Galer, Adam Baird, Elliot Gibson, Simon Taylor, Phillip Ryan, James Bolter, Ian Crompton, Jack Maydom, William Rooney

Subs Jack Sibley, Harry Dowrick, Pierre De Rancourt

Scores T: Frederick Rooney (2), Harry Dowrick (1) C: Frederick Rooney (2)

Counties 1 Herts/Middx The league: Counties 1 Herts/Middx



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Hitchin Rugby Limited, King George V Playing Fields, Old Hale Way, Hitchin, Hertfordshire SG5 1XL England, Charity No. 1159772
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