Week four of Herts Middlesex 1, two teams still unbeaten, but there can be only one. Hackney against Old Merchant Taylors (OMTs), first against second. While many anticipated a closely fought battle, Hackney's number 10 and former captain, Alex O'Hara, had different ideas. Rarely have I seen a rugby match so completely dominated by a single individual. O'Hara put on a master class of fly half play, seemingly capable of manoeuvring the ball and the opposition to any part of the pitch at will. It was a performance reminiscent of Wilkinson (Jonny, not Sam) in his pomp and he lead his side to a 43-0 victory on a fine October day.

The game could have been very different were OMTs given time to establish themselves, but Hackney started at a blistering pace. A perfectly struck O'Hara kick-off was regathered by Chamberlain and Hackney began a series of forward phases down the right flank. When OMT's conceded a penalty O'Hara smartly despatched it to the corner. From the lineout Saad carried strongly, rolling enthusiastically away from an attempted steal and drawing in two OMT backs. Hackney immediately hit wide left leaving no time to reset the defensive line. O'Hara handed off his opposite man to open the scoring with barely five minutes gone.

Hackney were two tries to the good within ten minutes when another great O'Hara kick put them 10 yards out. From the resulting lineout Alex Bobbin clearly had better things to think about than rugby, but Ben Jones, a less existential thinker, came to the rescue and secured the ball from Hart. When the maul collapsed 5 yards out, most people expected a scrum, but when the bodies were peeled away, Jones' telescopic arm lay stretched out over the try line for the hookers third in two games. Too early still for (Schalk) Jones?

O'Hara, clearly a man at the top of his game, was now pulling the OMT back three forward with dinked kicks only to turn them the next phase with probing touch finders. More than one time the crowd heard the collective sighs of the OMTs pack as they slowly turned for another jog back to their own 22.

The final try of the first half came after more persistent Hackney possession sprinkled tight five forwards across OMT's defence. Wilkinson spotted a mismatch down the right flank and fired the ball to Carroll, only for it to be intercepted by his team mate and prop forward, Bailey. Bailey, no ordinary prop forward, completely confused the defence with this act of derring-do and when he popped to Carroll on the loop simple hands via Chamberlain gave Watmore, Hackney's most fleet footed of backs, all the space he needed to burn the final man for a try on debut.

To their credit OMTs rallied for the remainder of the half, but despite consistent pressure, were unable to generate any clear cut scoring chances and the half ended with Hackney three tries to the good.

The second half started in a similar vein to the first when Hart received the kick-off and to the amazement of the onlooking crowd pulled off his tag rugby spin move. Somehow, despite the distinctly full contact nature of the game, this was enough to shake off the two onrushing tacklers and Hart was away. Fifteen metres later, having doubled his career rushing yards he found Chamberlain with an offload who carried for another 20. Saad was screaming for the ball down the right touch line, but Chamberlain, under pressure from the defence, could only lamely throw it behind him. Saad scrambled well to recover possession however and Hackney rebuilt, putting together a series of right to left phases. The ball eventually found Ohara who drew the defence like flies to a candle releasing Chamberlain. He handed off the the first man and when Watmore drew the full back easily stepped inside the last defender before nearly breaking his own neck attempting a truly awful try scoring swallow dive.

O'Hara was returning the OMT's fly half's kicks with twenty yards of interest and Hackney found themselves deep within the opposition half soon after. Several forwards attempted to drive over the line, but in the end it was the brains of the Hackney scrum half, rather than the brawn of the pack that would find the next score. Wilkinson dummied and ducked squeezing beneath two OMT tacklers for the fifth.

The sixth was another text book try. Phases left spread out the OMT defence. The peerless Ohara, his eyes never off the OMTs defenders finally spotted what he was looking for and demanded the ball on the reverse. He bulleted a miss pass to Bowers who had got on the outside of his man. Bowers beat the 13 for pace and waited for the winger to step in. No sooner had he left his wing than Bowers released Saad into the vacated space. Arif got round the outside, spasmed and got back on the inside. No spasm. He finally stood up the full back and did what he should have done to start with, going round the outside to score under the posts. Seven tries already this year for the in form Saad, half of his tally from all of last season.

Oddly this seemed to spark OMT's best period of the game forcing Hackney to spend 15 minutes on their own line before Bobbin, a different player since returning to the back row, forced a turnover. Another huge Ohara clearance put OMTs back in their 22. They managed to clear back to the half way line, but the ever alert Charles Bailey took the line out quickly releasing Chris Carroll. Carroll arced the 12, stood up the 13 and danced his way through another 4 or 5 defenders enrapturing the crowd and scoring the 7th from 50 yards out. Clearly an element of showing off there Chris. A few minutes later and Carroll was at it again, now definitely showing off. He took the ball deep and shaped to kick before drawing the ball back in and beating a full 6 men. It was probably this sequence of play that prompted one of the home supporters to reflect after the game that he had come down thinking about trying for first team full back, but having watched the game, wasn't going to bother.

The match was in danger of becoming boring so Bowers obligingly got sent off facilitating a fascinating match within a match for the last 10. Hackney were desperate not to concede and OMTs came closer than at any other point with a well weighted cross kick. The ball appeared to be landing in the hands of the onrushing winger when Davis rose plucking it out of the air within his own dead ball area and away from the outstretched finger tips of the OMTs 14. The Hackney defence was typified by Charles Bailey who made a try saving tackle five yards out and immediately threw himself back onto his feet to defend the blindside.

Special mentions go to to Zissler and Rowbottom who supplied excellent water.

Man of the match: If this isn't obvious you have either skipped to here, or you're an idiot.