Much could be written about this game – on the wettest day of the season so far – in the far-flung reaches of South West London. But, as even the noble and no-longer-soon-to-be-elevated opposition would concede, much must be written about one moment in particular. The scene needs to be set. It is the second half. Harlequins are several scores to the good. Hackney win a penalty. However, a combination of Tranquility Hanton’s somewhat hairy day with the boot, and the pack’s somewhat wearisome day in set-pieces, led the great Salt-and-Pepper-Genius of Rich Shorey to go by himself. 


Regular readers will likely be aware of Rich’s predilection – nay, penchant – for a dart from five metres out. Only the week prior he had done so with quite some aplomb – a tap and go and a diagonal run straight towards the post to touch down while the opposition were still picking their jaws off the floor at the audacity of it all. Thus, had Harlequins done their video analysis they might have paid somewhat closer attention to the 26-going-on-66 man from Essex when he lifted the ball from the floor and shot a few conspiratorial glances at his fellow Gogs.


Now, even Shorey would have to admit that it’s not clear the rest of the team was on the same wavelength, or perhaps even using the same telecommunications equipment, as him. It’s also not clear who it was that shouted NO SHOREY NO NO NO, but they had not, it seems, done their video analysis either. And so Rich tapped and went. And went and went and went. It’s not that there was space for him to run into. It’s more that, the sheer brazenness of the effort, from just inside the opposition half, bent time and space around him.


As the zigs and zags began to accumulate, Shorey’s decision-making was no longer open to question. He ate up the yards and a step here and there saw him evade several tackles. He would, even if he were to be taken down at that point, have won much valuable territory. Only the fullback was left. A large man – not that there are small Harlequins – and yet light-on-his-feet – he was nevertheless sent the wrong way by one last step from the fiend who only drinks Fosters. There was nothing left for him to do but dot it down. And, because he’s not from Bath, he did.


1. Matthieu Arneguy: a decent game for a good clubman - bound to be called up to the Gargoyles at some point. 8/10


2. Darren Griffin: pity he can’t play in any other position – might be useful if he could. 7/10 


3. David Bates: still the gutsiest front row in the club - first trundle of the season was a good one. 7/10


4. Mat Cole: getting better at making a nuisance of himself – and leaping higher in the line-out. 8/10 


5. Cian Murphy: wants an award for his handling and another for his footwork. 11/10


6. Tom Gluckstein: your correspondent isn’t sure what blindsides do – but surely he does it well. 7/10


7. Ben Graham: continues to step and duck and dive in ways that not even chaos theory could predict. 9/10


8. Nick Jaques: a tough day at the base of the scrum but did well - got potential to play at blindside too. 7/10


9. Matt Fielden: usual performance of mettle and mouthiness. Refused to let the house be blown down no matter how much the opposition Huffed and puffed. 8/10


10. Matt Hanton: took his usual level of attention in his typically tranquil way – will make a great hooker – especially if he continues to kick like our current one. 8/10


11. Dr Luke Leyland: a hit to the head while trying to run from the dead ball line was punishment in itself – but good season curtain-raiser nevertheless. 7/10


12. Hugh Price: coming into heavy traffic wasn’t easy but was strong in defence in particular. 8/10


13. Derek Williams: as above – not an easy day for the Gogs’ midfield – but made the most of it. 8/10


14. Rich Shorey: wonder try. 9/10


15. Chris Reay: easily the seventh best Gog on a tough day. 7/10


16. Austin Thomas: good shift when he came into a game that had already slipped away. 7/10


17. Shu Shome: made yards when he had a chance – growing into the team. 7/10


18. Hufflepuff Davies: always empties the tank when he’s on the road with the club, and did his own fair share of barking too, albeit up the wrong tree. 1/10


19. Joe Mitchell: ran touch (sort of) and then ran tough. 7/10.


20. James Mullett: he came (eventually), he saw (through the rain), he was conquered (like everyone else)