Was last weeks loss a blip or an early sign of worse to come? The question would need to be answered very quickly as the leading points scorers in the league, that is the fourth placed Old Actonians visited Spring Hill.

The Griffins took to the field with few key names back in the line up along with a debutant in Lawrence... in at 7 having proven his talent with the Gargolyes.

The opening salvo saw the 15 men answer the call, hits rained in from everywhere and the best laid plans of the opposition were soon rethought. Hackney saw an opening at line out time and set about taking full advantage, kicking for territory and pressuring the incoming ball until it's possessors cracked. The first score of the game came from such pressure. After disrupting the opposition line out Actonians could only clear as far as their own 22. Recently back from injury, hooker Will Bowers hit his man perfectly, setting up a maul, on it rumbled until the only option for Actonians was to bring it down. Up stepped Newton Mills, the prop timed his peel off the back to perfection charging through would be defenders to open the scoring.

From the restart Hackney continued where they left off. Despite finding a big contest at the scrum Hackney's forwards continued to dominate every breakdown allowing quick phase of play to occur and yards to be gained.

Some crisp handling from both forwards and backs led to the Griffins second try. A slick interchange saw Ben Chamberlain crash over in the corner to make it 10-0. The rest of the half broke down into some what of a wrestling match as Old Actonians started edge their way back into the game. An exchange of penalties meant that Hackney retained their 10 point advantage into half time.

The message at half time was not to lose sight of the threat that Old Actonians posed.

The half began as the other had ended, the arm wrestle continued, but now with the wind at their backs the Griffins had the advantage they need to widen the gap in the points. After a few penalty attempts James Hardwick hit his mark and pushed the Griffins lead out to 13.

Actonians then threatened to breach the Hackney line only to see ball end up over their own. Great defensive work led to a turn over near Hackney's line, scrum half Fanning stopped an opening and released the electric Charlie Williams down the wing. Williams beat a couple and offloaded to the ever marauding Mills. Mills took on the scrabbling Actonians defence, drawing in two tacklers and cleverly off loading to Fanning. Quick hands and some beautifully cut lines left substitute Rowbottom with a 20 yard dash for the line which he chewed up easily. The conversion was missed, Hackney needed one more try for the bonus point and time as running out.

Old Actonians pushed for a consolation score, Hackney however had very different ideas and would not concede a try in the last play of the game. With time up, Hackney turned the ball over on there own try line and Fanning looked for touch to end the game. The skipper, of course, had other thoughts on his mind and called for the ball. Off Hackney went, only 80 meters to go for the bonus point and time well gone. No big deal. Skipper O'Hara to Dawson, who took contact bravely retaining the ball. Rowbottom and Chamberlain interchanged and away went Chamberlain who was eventually cut down after covering most of the yardage. Old Actonians had no option but to give away a penalty but Hackney were in no mood to wait around. Fanning's quick tap led to Bowers having 5 yards and one man to beat. Try as he might, vainly, he came up short, Mills however was not finished with his contribution for the day and powered the duo over, with Bowers twisting to score.

The score was converted to leave the end score 31-3.

Man of the Match goes to Cormac Fanning bringing to the pitch the privileges of age whist retaining the physical prowess of his youth.
(James Simon - 2011)