Hackney 1st XV brought their first season in Herts/Middlesex 1 to a satisfying end on Saturday, getting revenge on a Saracens Amateur side who had won the last two encounters between these clubs and underlining their 3rd place finish in the league. After three consecutive promotions the Griffins have shown that they capable of climbing higher, with eyes on promotion to the London leagues next season.

In the open Hackney were dominant, with the back row pair of John Tully and Ben Chamberlain to the fore and the backline looking dangerous. But at the breakdown they struggled against a physical Saracens side, and the frequency of the referees whistle was all that kept the home side in the game, allowing them to pin the Griffins back and keep the scoreboard ticking over. Under pressure and down on the scoreboard Hackney scored the game's first try; chasing kicks is never the most glamorous aspect of the game, but an effective chase here put Saracens under pressure and quick thinking from Full Back Henry Williams saw Centre James Dawson over the line.

And while Saracens came back to finish the half ahead on the scoreboard, some harsh words from Griffins coach Ben Scanlan and pack leader Ollie Hart saw the side address the issues at the breakdown in the second half. More ball meant more tries for Hackney. Fly Half Alex O'Hara made good use of the increased possession coming his way, putting winger James Rowbottom in to the score and using the away sides props to batter Sarries backwards. Captain Charlie Davis scored the third try, the one that ended the argument, with a snipe at the ruck that belied his recent conversion to scrum half, and James Davis finished the scoring, after Tully and Chamberlain had driven hard and fast into Saracens territory. That final effort secured the bonus point for scoring 4 or more tries, taking Hackney's bonus point tally to 13 this season, a real indication of the type of expansive and exciting rugby the Griffins have been playing.

Back in 2009 these sides had played a game at this same venue, with the home side dominant and handing Hackney a heavy defeat. Number 8 John Tully was one of a few members of the team that day who made this journey this time, and his immense physicality was a key reason the result wasn't repeated. A fine Man of the Match performance.