A mid-December run out at Springhill is a rare treat for a member of Hackney Rugby Club and despite a superb effort by the by Hackney’s coaching/ground staff. This wasn’t enough for Hitchin’s coaches and captains who decided that the smaller then normal Springhill water features weren’t suitable for playing on and instead favoured the smaller 2nd team pitch, an odd decision to take it seemed based on later happenings. With the festive season fast approaching Captain Bowers had two wishes this year, 5 points from the home game and for the team that is named on a Thursday to turn up on a Saturday. With the later wish crossed off the list due to a number of later dropouts the first one was definitely still on the cards.
The Hackney forwards started off making quick inroads into the Hitchin defence, A number of penalties kicked into the corner saw the Griffins maul power over for a collective effort to be finished off by Matt Strong. This was duly converted by Joe Askham out wide, the restart fell into Alex Readford’s bread basket who stepped the on rushing defence and was allowed to make easy yards into the opposition half. Slick interplay and some deft handling saw Sprague go in in the corner for a champagne team effort and was again converted by Joe who looked like he wasn’t going to be blaming his boots for a 2nd week in a row. Those new boots were back on show again soon after with a nice show and go to score under the posts (converted), this was then followed by a 3pointer to keep the scoreboard ticking over. With Hackney in seemingly unplayable form, scoring again from quick tap and a rare pass from Rob Stanley allowing winger Rich Yong to go over in the corner.

This however wasn’t to last with a number of unforced errors under the high ball allowing Hitchin’s ‘Stronger’ runners to break tackles and ‘Watmore’ score under the posts. Still in shock from this Hackney were then back under their sticks after a creative backline move saw Hitchin’s quick backline get a second. Halftime came and allowed Hackney to take stock of the first half and look to return to the same fluent rugby that was on show in the first 20minutes.
However this was not to be and with a number of mistakes and a chance to allow the Hitchin ‘Big lad’ saw Hackney concede a penalty from halfway and had it not been for a last ditch Guy Watmore tackle Hackney’s earlier lead could’ve been reduced to 2. As the half progressed the Hack Scrum began to set a dominance and from a hook against the head Rob Stanley and Sprague (well supported by PJ also) were able to make big yards up the pitch allowing Ben Chamberlain to double his tally for the season whilst also giving the Hitchin hooker a nasty cut to the head and getting their No 8 sin binned in the process. The scoring was completed by ‘Scrum Half’ Dan Worth scoring with a modest quick tap and a scything run which was duly converted by Sprague. Despite having secured the 5 points with 15 fully fit players and flu ridden Jonny Crockett the Griffins felt the need to continue to run the ball beyond the 80minute mark to break the 50 point mark much to the disappointment of the author of this report. Sadly the final try didn’t come but the job was done 5points were bagged and it’s onto the local derby versus Old Street for another W before Christmas.