The society referee paused for an age as he scanned Springhill. His whistle poised on his lips. The Gogs were lined up ready to receive the ball, conflicting feelings of flight or fight, doubt against determination, intensified in their minds. Finally the whistle went and the ball flew long. Will Roberts's gave the shout. It was his ball, a man impervious to doubt, a bundle of power conditioned for battle. He set off leaving Hampstead players floundering in his wake, finally coming to rest securely in the oppositions territory. The support was quick, the ball clean to Darren who pinned Hampstead back in their twenty two with an excellent kick. The nerves were settled but ten minutes of sustained pressure could not produce a try for the home side. Eventually after the gogs relinquished possession, the previously weary travellers came to life giving Hackney a lesson in fluid rugby. They soon crossed the line. It all looked too easy. They had space, support and some strong runners. For the next twenty minutes Hackney were in disarray unable to fathom a way of countering Hampsteads relentless flow. Twenty Two points up in almost as many minutes the signs were ominous for the Springhill side.

When these sides met last season, Hampstead inflicted a demoralising defeat against a decent Gog side. There were a few Gogs that were determined not to let this happen again. The home pack fought hard to win back possession. Soon Will Roberts was making ground again, joined by Pete Walsham they made a formidable attacking force. By the break Hackney had scored 3 tries and Hamstead looked spent.

The second half started badly for the Home side. Possession was the key to this game and they could not get hold of the ball. Once again Hampstead showed what they could do with the ball, off loading in the tackle and finding gaps in the defence. Angry Sam and John Chung gave the rest of the Hackney players a lesson in tackling but their contribution could not stop the opposition notching up the points.

As the game looked out of sight Hackney rallied, their sense of pride and belief reawakened they started to claw back the deficit. This was their most promising period as forwards and backs linked to unravel the Hampstead defence. The referee called last play on a line out in the Hackney half. A fantastic passage of play by the Gogs that showed a confidence and ability absent for most of the game resulted in Pete Walsham going over under the sticks. This belated surge and the impressive start gave the home side a belief that they can play rugby and they will no doubt take that belief into next weeks cup final.

MOTM: Sam Berkson, an excellent combination of rugby sense, technical ability and determination.