To kick off the season with a challenge Hackney 1st XV travelled to their north London rivals Hitchin RFC. Even before the game Hackney knew this would not be an easy game with Hitchin playing in a league above Hackney (London 3).

The game kicked off and within minutes the Hackney forwards showed their dominance in weight and skill by driving the Hitchin scrums and mauls backwards. With debutants Glenn Prowse and Lloyd William- Jones each showing Coach Ben Scanlan why they should be first pick in the team sheet. The hard driving from Hackney forwards soon saw it.s just rewards with Andy Pilkington forcing his way over the line to put Hackney on the score board, swiftly followed up by Alex O.hara.s boot put to Hackney 7 put ahead. (0- 7).

However the dominance in Hackney forwards was not matched by the backs as soon unforced errors and bad handling lead to Hitchin pulling back a messy try to level the scores just before half time. Following on from the Hitchin try hackney prop Lloyd William-Jones had to be replaced by Johnny Crocket as an injury to his back forced him off the field, however this replacement in the scrum did not stop hackney forwards from battering the Hitchin scrum, with turnover ball aplenty.

At half time Hackney backs got a good talking to from captain Alex O.hara to up their game. However this talk did not transcend into a performance on the pitch as with minutes of the kick off Hitchin found themselves again over the Hackney try line as a result of bad handling from Hackney back.

Hackney responded to this with an excellent display of scummaging from the forwards to produced a massive overlap on the Hitchin wing, for which debutant Charlie Williams made easy use of
to level the scores at 12-12. The try was a just reward for the hard work Charlie had been putting in to defend the Hackney try line all game.

The game continued into the 2nd half with Hackney forward stealing the majority of line outs and scrums from Hitchin forwards, and runs from Glen Prowse and Ben Chamberlain saw Hackney force Hitchin back into their own 22. However more bad handling and ill discipline from Hackney saw a breakaway try from Hitchin to go ahead by 5 point (17-12).

With only two minutes remaining Hackney drove Hitchin back onto their own 5 metre line, however with a scrum awarded to Hackney, Hitchin opted for uncontested scrums as a tactical move due to the dominance of the Hackney pack which they could no longer compete with.

However Hackney forwards did not give up with huge charges from Andy Pilkington testing the Hitchin defense, until Will Bowers powered over the line to level the scores on the final whistle (17-17).

The game ended with mixed results, an excellent start to the session for the forwards, with much improvement needed for the back.

MOTM: Charlie Williams for his debutant try and exceptional tackling throughout the game.