On a bright and blustery afternoon at Spring Hill, seventh place Hackney took on bottom place Tabard. Both sides had mixed form coming into the game with Hackney looking to push on from their win at Enfield two weeks previous.

Tabard had the best of what was a scrappy and physical first half. Playing with the breeze at their backs, the out-half Reilly did well to keep Hackney pinned in their own territory. The home side played with plenty of ambition, the backline being given a decent platform to play off through sterling work from the forwards with Dave ‘Play me Anywhere’ Akkersdyke leaving a mark on the Tabard midfield through some big carries.

Due to a number of uncharacteristic handling errors however, Hackney were made to defend for most of the first 40. Tabard were prevented from crossing the try line thanks to hard work from Ben Sudell and Matt Strong in particular. Ultimately though, the pressure told as a number of penalties conceded within a kickable range meant Reilly could kick his side into a 0-6 lead.

This was to prove the last impact on the scoreboard for Tabard and after a dearth of possession in the opposition half, Hackney’s outside backs finally got their act together. A chip behind the onrushing defense from Ultan Murphy allowed Adam Murphy to beat the cover and touch down in the right corner.

This meant the score was nicely primed at 5-6 in Tabard’s favour going into the second half. The match opened up in the subsequent 40 with both teams adopting a more expansive game. The home side took full advantage of the dry conditions and with passes sticking, they began to stretch Tabard. It was from a broken piece of play that Hackney got their second try. A clearing kick from Tabard was spread rapidly across the pitch to PJ Lloyd, who rolled back the years to outpace 3 Tabard defenders and score wide left.

With both sides attacking well, it was Hackney who made the most of the resulting space and they tagged on another great team try. Midway through the second half, a break down the left and some sweet hands between backs and forwards allowed Lloyd to release Akkersdyke who crossed for Hackney’s third. Joe Askham added the extras to make it 17-6 to the home side.

With a growing injury count, Tabard were on the back foot but still brought a spirited challenge to Hackney. Good work up the left on two occasions meant yards for Tabard but they were unable to capitalizs on their attacking position. Their challenge beginning to wane, Hackney’s fresher legs found yards through the middle, with Sam ‘Added Dimension in Attack’ and Fraser ‘Taking the Long Way Round’ Tait bringing Hackney right back into opposition territory. Hackney were determined to garner maximum points from the game, and after a number of phases, Alderson capped a monstrous days effort by carrying three Tabard players over the line to grab Hackney’s fourth.

Tabard were reduced to 14 men through injury by the end, and the game was now over as a contest when Hackney managed to add a bit of polish to the score line after a brace of tries from Akkersdyke and PJ Lloyd in the dying minutes. These bonus scores left the game at 38-6 to Hackney.