Upminster RFC 6 - 17 Hackney RFC

Hackney 1st XV travelled to the end the district line for their first cup fixture of the season in the driving rain agaisnt Upminster RFC.

The Griffins started well, putting the home side under pressure from the off. Within minutes the visitors had an attacking line out on the 5 metre line and drove over after some deft under-the-jumper-through-the-legs type movement of the ball at the back.

James Legg got the score after his spidery limbs stretched out over the whitewash.

5-0

Upminster were able to notch 3 points back with a well struck penalty, before the forwards, now dominating the set piece, applied pressure again and Old Man Chamberlain crossed again to bring the score to 10 - 3.

Hackney indiscipline gifted the home side another 3 points, but the visitors went into half time a confident 10-6 up. Roy Irwin, who had travelled all the way to support, provided welcome assistance with half time logistics.

The tone of the game changed notably in the second half.

Upmister, using the slope now to their advantage, put the Griffins under immense pressure. Old Man Chamberlain was then yellow carded for obstruction. Mills then repeated exactly the same offence in the very next play, and was also sent to the bin for a ten minute rest.

Griffins were down two forwards. The resulting scum was reset 5 times. Remarkably the "Hackney 6", as they have become known, shunted back a full compliment of Upminster forwards. Indeed, in the 9 minutes that Hackney were two men down the home side failed to score any points. A true defensive achievement.

With 15 minutes to play, and Hackney now playing with 15 men again, the Griffins regained the upper hand. An excellenty executed move allowed Ed Clarke to put Andy Pilkington through a gap and he crossed unencumbered for the final try of the game.

The Griffins were victorious 17-6.

Apparently Captain Bowers also did stuff during the game, but it has long been forgotten and its initial significance questioned.

Overall, disciplicine was improving aside from some repeated infringements at the breakdown. The Griffins keep the momentum going.