A tough day at the office for Hackney, playing a side who compete in Merit table 2. Finchley were a well composed side with good backs organisation & a few speedsters thrown in for good measure. Hackney.s first lesson came after only 5 minutes with a well worked try from Finchley. A further 2 tries came within the next 10 minutes. This did have the effect of galvanising the Gargoyles into stronger tackling & more dynamic running lines. However, it only stemmed the flow of tries for a short while, with another brace conceded prior to half time.

The second half saw a renewed desire from Hackney, causing a little concern from the Finchley touchline for the first 25 minutes of the second half. The final 15 minutes of the second half belonged to Finchley, with another 3 tries.

Despite the score line the day was not all doom & gloom. Hackney were playing men out of position, in a league higher than last season but with passion & determination. The most notable positives were; ruck defence & decision making, good offloading & the beginnings of a well executed kicking game. Luke led well in his first game in charge, maintained a positive squad attitude throughout - even though he had to play in 3 different positions during the course of the game, a drain on a lesser mans patience (all in a days work as skipper in the 2.s). At no point did any heads drop, which is commendable. A learning curve from which to move onwards & upwards.

It is hard to select individuals for praise as the entire squad played hard. However, Alex Wilson, Jon Williams, Olivier Onillon & Pete Walsham did the dirty work to good effect. In the backs, Henry Williams stood up well to some treatment from Finchley.s back row & a special mention to some very hard work must go to the 3 centres who played . John Chung, Damien Bouvier & Sam Yauner.

Regular playing, more settled squads (2.s or 3.s) will lead to better understanding & henceforth better results. There were a few individuals whose fitness was exposed in the heat & pace of the game . they know who they are & I shall look forward to seeing them on Tuesday nights.