Hackney started brightly in this Spring Hill encounter, good ball retention allowed them to play with a high tempo and get their more powerful runners one on one with defenders. Good yards were made through carries by back row trio Adam Winchester, Ben Chamberlain and Will Bowers which led to a penalty which O.Hara kicked to give the Griffins an early lead.



However Verulamians have had a run of impressive results of late and soon started to get back into the game. They forced Hackney into making a tough goal line stand and although the home side survived this without conceding, a backline set piece move from their own half resulted in the game.s first try for Verulamians. Their centre ghosted through the defence untouched who then fed the support runner. More excellent first phase play from the visitors led to a second try 10 minutes later.

Apart from these two exceptions, Hackney looked the more dangerous side with ball in hand. Great counter attacking play from the back 3 and a few good charges from centre Dan Aylward led to another penalty which O.Hara missed. However the fly half more than made up for this a few minutes later, directing play in his usual authoritative manner and feeding Winchester whose brutal charge just got him over the line despite close attention from 3 defenders. All the game's tries had been unconverted and at half time the score was 8 . 10. Hackney got the vital first score of the 2nd half after a deep touch finder from James Rowbottom put the .V.s. under pressure and the resultant close range penalty was knocked over by O.Hara.



However this was as good as it got for Hackney as for most of the second half they weren.t at their best as they stumbled between the many set pieces without testing the opposition in-between. In conditions less conductive to running rugby compared to the first 30 minutes the visitors superior scrum became more obvious. A penalty for scrum infringement in Hackney.s 22 led to Verulamians taking the lead. The home side had their opportunities but lacked basic ball control and in the desperate final minutes when they did manage to go through many phases progress up the field was slow. Retaining 3rd place in Herts. / Middlesex 1 was small consolation after a disappointing afternoon.



Coach's MOTM - James Davis - the most consistent performer in the XV who played a pivotal role in the build up to Hackney's only try.