A makeshift flanker partnership of Ben Scott-Robinson & Tim Cox worked tirelessly with the outstanding newcomer Aaron George to put the frighteners on a solid Enfield pack. The opening 10 minutes saw Hackney pressurised in their own half but solid defence & resolve allowed them the opportunity to gain territory & turn the pressure back onto Enfield, resulting in a well worked try on the left flank scored by Blake. Matt stepped up to take the wide conversion & never looked like missing. It was within this period that Ulrik sustained a nasty knee injury, being replaced by Chris Whitnall resulting in a re-jigged back 3. The remainder of the half was basically a stalemate with neither side converting their opportunities.

The second half started positively for Hackney with pressure resulting in a penalty duly kicked by Matt. However, within 3 minutes of the restart Hackney infringed at the cost of 3 points to Enfield. Another 5 minutes of sustained Enfield attack saw a try on the left wing for Enfield, again converted. So at 53 minutes it was 10 - 10. This caused the Gargoyles to redouble their efforts triggering Enfield to give away a series of penalties, one of which put an Enfield man in the bin for 10 minutes. Hackney were rewarded within this period with a penalty, quickly tapped & scored from by Luke - 5 points under the posts. Again converted by Matt. Here is the point at which Enfield were in most doubt but they were an experienced side who knew what was required of them to win. Wave after wave of runners came at Hackney whose defence organisation began to suffer. The outcome being a 3 point penalty & an unconverted try.

With 8 minutes left on the clock the score stood at 18 -17, Enfield were looking to shut up shop & take the win. Hackney would have none of it & attacked as if it were a cup final. This caused Enfield to give a penalty away within Matt.s kicking range. 18 . 20. So, 5 minutes left to play. Hackney & Enfield played kick tennis for a while with each side looking to gain an advantage. Unfortunately it was Enfield that got that advantage. A well worked play to tie in Hackney.s forwards at a ruck in centre field allowed their fly half to drop a goal with 1 minute to go. I now know how all of Australia felt back in 2003! One more kick off, one more play then no side. Lost 21 -20.

Many positives to take from the game. Also lessons to learn. Core skills are lacking at times . too many passes either delivered or taken poorly. Line out misfired. Scrums were well competed, 1 lost & 1 won gained against the head. Very promising individual efforts but collectively room for improvement.

Solid work rate from the pack who were not intimidated by Enfield.s tactics. A fresh look to the back line who will gel together more with game time.

MOTM : Matt Hanton. Ran the game sensibly, with variation. I have watched his religious kicking practice at every training session & the commitment is paying off.