When mountaineer George Mallory was asked on what motivated him to climb Everest, he replied "because it's there." While the noticeable slope at Old Haberdashers isn't quite 8,848m high, Hackney's second string took the opposite approach to Mr. Mallory, instead remaining firmly at the bottom of the hill in their own half during the 2nd 40 minutes. While doing so, they surrendered a 14 point half time lead.


A confident Tom Parkin returned to lead the side this week, perhaps overconfident in his own fitness levels after a 2 week holiday and that of his teammates, when he won the toss and elected to play downhill first. Buoyed by a lineout functioning much better than last week and Ryan Mortimer kicking the team into great positions down the slope, the Gargoyles created numerous chances. Rich Mills classy completed a hat trick in 30 minutes but the Hack could of perhaps had more after Max Heal was penalised for a double move while grounding and Jimmy Miller got confused by the vast space either side of the full back when one on one 5 yards out, opting to plow straight ahead. The home side gave a lesson on how to play the slope though and a try just before half time looked to be a turning point.


A first half lead was definitely in master tactician Tom "Duke of Wellington" Parkin battle plan, what he failed to allow for was the angle of the setting sun. Directly behind the posts, the orange globe made vision very difficult to a surprising degree and Hackney struggled to field kicks, catch passes or locate where attackers were while faced with a rising penalty count and an impregnable opposition defence. It made the second period a sobering experience, though that running downhill feeling shouldn't be forgotten from the first period