A large blob of sweat ran down my face, my blood clearly too thick the altitude of Hampstead Health. Our assignment seemed simple enough on paper but strange things can happen in this suburban wilderness. For example a large proportion of our group of sane, rational, grown up adults observed the continuous rain fall out of their windows all week and came to the conclusion that short moulded studs would be ideal footwear. Later, through a simple slip due to lack of grip would gift Hampstead seven points. That was to come; in the meantime even more bizarre events took place. Insanity appeared to be spreading like a virus, it started to affect our hosts, in a state of panic quick lineouts were hauled towards midfield one handed deep in Hampstead territory. The result of the resulting melee was possession was handed over to Hackney and Rhys Johnson made the most of this opportunity, sporting suitable footwear to find enough traction and drive two defenders back 5 yards into the in-goal area and ground the ball for a try. Debutant Rhodri Johnson (no relation) also made use of a proper pair of rugby boots to score in the opposite corner. Matt Hanton began a productive points gathering afternoon with two conversions and a penalty goal.

After the oranges the teams traded scores, Tom Bentley was rewarded for breaking through a tight space by a lack of full back which made the run in a lot simpler. The eight try rout was completed over the remaining 30 minutes. Try of day came when Nic Stuart popped the ball off to fellow back rower Alex Bewick running a beautiful cutting line, Nic carried on up the field to complete the one-two and run in from 40 yards out. Jack Naylor scored his first try for the club and Rhodri made it a brace on his first appearance. Joe Askham was the man pulling the strings in midfield all day and he rounded off the afternoon with a score of his own, featuring a completely unnecessary hitch kick to escape a diving attempt at a tackle from over 5 yards away. After all this talk of footwear, the Gargoyles found that like Cinderella, the shoe did fit and they shall go to the ball. In their case a top of the table clash next week against Welwyn.

Man of the match was originally shared between Alex Bewick and Tom Bentley. However with only one name fitting in the match report template, Alex getting a free pint after the game and Tom playing in proper studded boots in seemed fitting with the theme to give a cautionary tale to those who think about choosing moulded studs again in the middle of November again

Sorry for this report being more about footwear than rugby, I’d like to say a more conventional match report will return next week, but I’d be lying.