On a sun drenched pitch in Harrow the "Real" Gargoyles finally stood up. After the frustrations of pre-season, and last week's defeat in the league opener this was a victory to savour. Without exception the players went about the task with head and heart. First up tackles were made, gaps were seen and seized, yards were gained and the points came.



The first try came straight from the kickoff. Stand-off Jeff Moore hung the ball high over the Harrow forwards allowing Hackney to exert pressure in numbers on the catcher and after some great work in the tight secure the ball. Scrum half Neil Cunningham span the ball back to Moore who feinted right and then popped the ball inside to Uzo charging in from his blind side wing. The startled Harrow defence could do little more than watch as Uzo's pace and power took him straight under the posts virtually guaranteeing a 7 point score.



This was never going to be a walkover though, the Harrow team put 60 points on their opposition the week before and armed with a big, experienced pack and pace out wide they brought the game back to the Gargoyles. Stout defence in the centre of the pitch from centres Blake Armstrong and Nuno, backed up by a mobile back row thwarted Harrow drives and after multiple attempts at breaking through they switched tactics with kicks to touch and space testing the back three. Hackney weathered the storm and broke the siege with an accomplished boot to touch.



Back at the right end of the pitch Hackney continued to apply pressure to the Harrow defense with great runs and suport play, recycling the ball time and time again. Camped on their own line and unable to regain the ball Harrow were found gulity of multiple infringements around the ruck. With a loud blast of his whistle the referee suddenly dashed way from the action to stand underneath the posts; penalty try Hackney. A similar period of pressure resulted in Harrow with the put-in at a 5 metre scrum. A huge 8 man shove sent Harrow backwards, the ball squirted out the back and Cunningham darted through bullying his opposite man and touching down for another score. With 10 minutes left until half time Harrow replied with a quick tap penalty and despite a brave effort from hooker Dave Bates who met him head on, the Harrow forward managed to extend a telescopic arm to touch down on the line.



The second half called for a different approach - heading into the wind and up the slope Hackney kept the ball in hand - tapping and going, trusting their hands and pace the ball went wide quickly and frequently. Claiming a mark 5 yards from his try line Full back Tim Cox heard Moore call for the ball "It's on Coxy, it's on", when Moore says it's on it generally is so with a quick tap he span the ball to him under the posts. Moore accelerated, running straight and drawing the men opposite, out to Armstrong who jinked right, stepped left and sent Nuno into a gap on the Hackney 10 metre, Intelligent play from the outside centre saw him delay the pass until the final second, tempting the Harrow back row cover into a big hit and releasing Uzo on the half way line to sprint powerfully up the wing. This was no easy run in though, the pacy Harrow back three took it in turns to try and tackle him into touch but with his eyes on the prize and employing a mean handoff he took on all comers - try time!



Harrow refused to give up and understandably hesitant to attack Uzo's wing saw opportunity down Curtis'. Or did they? Boom! never has a winger so slight hit so hard. Every Harrow player who attempted to run at him, regretted it when 5 seconds later they were were 5 yards back with a "What the **** happened there look on their face"!? Awesome defence.



Using the wind and slope a spirited Harrow made regular sorties into the Hackney half and a rare lapse in concentration saw Harrow pull a try back.



Hackney fowards had applied themselves all game. Giving away many Kg's to the opposition pack they employed talent and technique throughout and in the closing stages exerted themselves with superior fitness. "He's here, he's there, he's every****ingwhere....Paddy Walsh.....!" A true 7's performance ably supported by back row colleagues, Jon Wood and Dave Watkins saw him literally everywhere, most obviously when Jonny Vivas (on for the injured Cunningham) span the ball right, moving through multiple hands until it landed in Walsh's greedy mits - with Curtis outside him and the obvious choice, he turned back inside wrongfooting the entire cover defence and gliding under the posts for a well deserved score.



The forwards were not finished though and a great driving maul led by props Ben Scott Robinson and Darren Almeida, ably supported by the impressive 2nd row combination of Alex Wilson and Jonny Crockett (on debut) saw Dave Watkins touch down.



Late in the game the Hackney line did come under severe pressure but with the whole team camped on the line in a scene reminiscent of "300", the Spartan cry "They will not pass" rang around the leafy suburb. And they did not pass. Tempers frayed, handbags were thrown and cards were shown but they did not pass. Let's see some more Gargoyles, let's see some more...



MOTM: Curtis Hobday.