This weekend Hackney 1st XV rounded off their pre-season friendlies with another challenging game away to Finchley RFC who play their rugby a league above Hackney in London NW 3.

From the kick off Hackney knew this game would be a challenge, with Finchley matching Hackney in their skill and strength in all aspects of the game.

However after 10 minutes of fiercely contested play; the deadlock was broken with Hackney backs producing an excellent display of passing to take advantage of their overlap and to put Charlie Williams in the corner. The game continued at an even pace with free flowing rugby enabling both side to venture into each other's 22. Ill discipline from Hackney around the rucks saw the ref give an easy penalty opportunity to Finchley which they put through the post to pull back 3 points.

With the final 10 minutes of the 1st half, Hackney piled on the pressure with excellent runs coming from both wingers Charlie Willaims and Daniel Delgardo pushing Finchley deep into their own 22, but were unable to cross the line due to an excellent defensive play from Ficnhley to finish off the first half with Hackney still holding onto their narrow lead of 3-5.

The second half started brightly for Hackney with the forwards pushing deep into Finchleys half through driving mauls and excellent individual runs from Chris McMahon and Ben Chamberlain making further ground. However Hackney found it hard in the scrums with Finchley not giving up ground lightly and making Hackney work throughout the game.

Hackney forwards continued to pile on the pressure which saw huge gaps start appearing out wide, which Hackney inside centre Tam McFaden took full advantage of put put his name on the score sheet. However from the kick Finchley got a lucky break on the wing due to poor handling from Hackney which saw their winger step his opposite man to cross the line under the post. With the try and conversation this leveled the score for Finchley at 10-10, with Hackney now feeling the pressure.

Finchley continued to pile on the pressure and continued tp test Hackney's defence for the majority of the game. An excellent counter play from Hackney forced Finchley back and led them to make unneccessary errors, a swift turnover soon meant that Hackney were, once againattacking the Finchley try line. Further indiscretions from Finchley led to a penalty on their own 5. With Finchley.s heads down and backs turned captain Alex O.hara took the quick tap to find a rabbit hole sized gap to cross the line, he duly converted his own score giving Hackney a 7 point lead.

However the joy of taking the lead soon led to reality with Finchley pulling back a try from their substitute winger, the .man mountain., crashing through his opposite man and full back to cross the line, With minutes left on the clock Hackney continued to pile on pressure and were rewarded with a penalty right in front of the posts 35 meters from Finchleys line which Alex O.hara sloted to end the game 15-20.

Man of the match for his yard grabbing runs went to Ben Chamberlain. With the hard fought win Hackney 1st kick off the season next weekend with an away trip to Hendon, with promotion the key priority for the season.