It was very, very cold in Enfield on Saturday. Bone chillingly cold. Cold enough to freeze the breath in front of your face. Arctic Convoy cold.

You get the picture?

The Hackney 3rd XV travelled to old foes Enfield Ignatians on the back of a number of tight losses at the start of the season. After a somewhat convoluted journey (Chris doesn’t seem to understand how TFL Journey Planner works), the Gogs arrived at Donkey Lane, still the best named ground in the prestigious Herts and Middlesex Merit Five.

The opening passages of the game were cagey and Hackney continued their long standing tradition of being beaten out wide early on to give the opposition the first try. However, from the sidelines it was apparent that there was something different this week. The visitors looked hungry and unbowed.

From the sidelines it was also very, very cold.

Captain Reay used his howitzer right boot to keep the hosts back in their own half and slowly, Hackney built the pressure. Fergus and Will Howard in the centres ran hard lines and Joe Artuso, winger turned number eight, decided that he really liked carrying.
However the tries were scored out wide. With dominance at the breakdown and the lions share of territory, Hackney could be patient and go wide when the moment was right. Two tries for Gareth Morgan and one for Fergus gave the visitors a commanding first half lead.

In the second period the story was much the same. When Enfield kicked deep Rhys Davies and Quentin  Villeret (on his club debut and later to drop the ball over the try line...) returned it with interest. Strong carrying from Marc Fishwick and vice-captain Waithe in the second row helped to keep the Gogs on the front foot, while after a couple of over enthusiastic rangefinders Chris got his eye back in and delighted in sending spirals bouncing into touch in the Enfield half. Two more tries, one from the industrious Artuso and another, after a ridiculous offload, in the corner from Max Heal put the final gloss on a cohesive and highly satisfying performance from a team that, after a number of near misses, seems to final have found its feet.

We were all very cold though. Very, very cold.