Hackney's Fantastic Fours rolled up on a perfect sunny October day with a confident squad ready for the Fours' first home fixture. London Transport were an unknown quantity but we were surprised by the appearance of several large solid lads amongst a fairly young team, quite different from our own mix of heroes.

From the outset it was clear that LT's powerful pack would attempt to win ball for their powerful no8 to barge through our centres, midfield or anywhere he thought he'd take the opportunity, disrupting an otherwise bold Hackney defence. A couple of schoolboy errors gave them breaks to score two easy tries in the first 20 minutes. Despite that and their size, our experienced pack held scrums well and along with Stephen Duncan's intelligent play at no 8 provided scrum half Rob Baker chances to utilise our backs.

No 10 Darren Griffin along with inside centre John Chung made the best of the opportunities to get the ball out wide, and there were promising incisive runs helped by LT's unconvincing tackling. However with a 4's squad of players unused to much game time together, LT were able to take advantage of any fumbles. Always ahead, it still didn't seem that LT were necessarily the dominant team in all respects, and we managed to set up a fine opportunity for Cathal Callanan to score Hackney's first try.

However, into the second half and already with a couple of Fantastic Fours injured, LT were able to expoit our weakened defence and turn the situation completely to their advantage. With brave Errol Campbell now on at 12, we were able to add some fresh power of our own. On more than one occasion we were up on their try line - five meters out and with 10 mns to go Loic Dahan pushed their winger into touch, calmly collected the ball and made a quick throw in to an always dependable Andy Boon, who taking advantage of nearly all on the pitch momentarily napping, jogged through the standing players to score Hackney's second try. By now down to 14 men, down but not downhearted, not even skipper Mark James' thumping great try-saving tackle could turn the game Hackney's way and we finished with a brave 35-10 loss.

MOTM - Stephen Duncan for a great game all round, fearless in defence and quick at the breakdown.

Very importantly, special mention and thanks must go to George Noga who turned up hoping for a game and instead reffed the whole thing.