The clear blue sky, strapping and tape, the smell of freshly cut grass, the emotive sense of hope and expectation. The low bright bulb emitting rays directly into faces, the sound of ball on leather boot, the towering catch to begin the contest. The loud shriek of a whistle, the offensive lineout earned by penalty, the unguarded blindside, the Irish to Australian connection, five points to the home side.

The air being put under the ball, the emotive sense of confidence, another PJ break, the inspiration of Philippe Saint-Andre at Twickenham circa 1991, the kick inside, the desperate scrabble, the failing arms, the irregular bounce that only a ovate object can produce, the emphatic sight of Charlie Williams jumping on the ball in the opposition dead ball area.

Five seconds of rugby action followed by a stoppage again and again, the growing sense of frustration matched with the red mist of anger from the blue shirted Hertfordions, the increasing number of set pieces, the constant background hum of complaints to the referee from the away side, the random spiral of the shanked kick off the tee (different every time it happened). The eventual score to make it 17-0, the eventual march up the field from an increasingly angered Hertford XV, the eventual reply in the corner as half time whistle came.

The systematic repetition of the pick and go, one side then the other, like obsessive compulsive disorder has effected all fifteen of the Hertford players at once and it’s become contagious, the continuity which comes with predictability being maintained by a stout Hackney defence. The pattern being broken, the ball is spilled; the race is on, the try line is begging, the pickup is muffed by the four try hero Charlie Williams. The short wait to make up for the missed opportunity, a Rich Frost break, a try, a conversion, a penalty goal, more Gargoyle points.

The urge from the visitors to make things uncomfortable for their hosts, the physical attack, the comeback score, sly push of the laws to their limit when in the corner of the referees eye, the dark arts at the bottom of the ruck, the reaction and retaliation, Hackney’s newest pioneer of renewable energy Uzo Uyanwune windmilling in the face of the offending opposition player, the double outing for the referees yellow card.

The additional space caused by 14 a side rugby, the raise of the tempo, the un paralleled beauty of consecutive well timed off loads, the blur of flesh as Charlie Williams accelerates up to speed, the deja vu of identical finishes, the pure look of hopeless expression on the wing defenders faced with the scampering Williams. The final whistle. The euphoric feel of relief and pride, played 5, won 5, points difference +130. Bring on Belsize Park