With Spring Hill currently more suited to migrating geese than the brand of fast flowing rugby that usually graces the turf, Hackney 1st XV made their way down the River Lea to Hackney Marshes to host a Wasps side looking for just their second win of the season.

Fortuitously for the home team, the opposition backs struggled through most of the game to string together a series of passes and utilise their attacking threats out wide, who, in the few opportunities they had, were well managed by the Hackney back three. These mistakes and some good tactical kicking from fly-half and try scorer Andy Sprague helped Hackney work their way into the ascendancy after some fairly tight early exchanges. Some some strong carries by the Hackney forwards helped to build some momentum going forward but this became slowed by increasingly regular infringements and some questionable officiating in relation to some strong maul work on the back of a lineout that functioned well throughout the day. Finally as Hackney managed to work their way into the opposition 22, a centerfield penalty offered the home side the first points of the day. Hackney 3-0 Wasps.

Further indiscipline from the opposition awarded Hackney the field position to launch an extended spell of pressure within the opposition’s 22. As the clock passed 30 minutes, an attacking lineout offered an ideal scoring opportunity but the repeated penalties incurred earlier in the game saw Matt Strong break early from the maul only to be stopped agonisingly short of the line. As half time drew closer, repeated attempts by the Hackney forwards to batter their way across the Wasp’s line proved repeatedly unsuccessful until sub, Alex Readford, managed to spot just enough space to burrow under the helpless opposition guards and squeeze the ball onto the try line. Hackney 10-0 Wasps.

The second half began much like the first with both teams failing to assert any sustained spell of pressure and butchering the few opportunities on offer, including an errant final pass from the author himself blowing a great blind side overlap and almost certain try. After failing to stretch the lead, the home side’s comfort was soon under threat as a mysterious object appeared from the bushes off the side of the playing fields. With the Hackney players still trying to pick their jaws up from the turf, next year’s favourite for Britain’s strongest man invigorated a Wasp’s side that had played second fiddle for much of the match. A few big carries and fortunate penalties at scrum time saw Hackney concede for the first time in the game. With Hackney losing Andrew Pilkington to the sin bin in the build up to the try, momentum appeared to have swung as Hackney began ruing the lack of clinical edge that should have seen them comfortably in front. Hackney 10-7 Wasps.

Fortunately the ten-minute spell with 14 players coincided with the rapidly declining energy reserves of the Wasps pack. Ably assisted by half of the team, captain Bowers wisely elected to take the quick three points on offer, helping to ease the scoreline slightly and take valuable time off of the sin bin. Hackney 13-7 Wasps.

After managing the remaining minutes with 14 men, the return to full strength sealed the result as Hackney began to dominate the final quarter of the game. An extended spell of pressure once again returned dividends with O’Hara finding Sprague on his inside to further extend the lead. Despite threatening further scores, including an immediate break from the following kick-off, this would prove to be the final score of the game as Hackney once again failed to find the finishing touch before a penalty in midfield brought the game to an end- Hackney 20-7 Wasps.