In a strange afternoon which began with an embarrassing wardrobe malfunction delaying kick off and ended with a dominating return to Hackney for everyone's favourite player (A. Maul), our visitors proved to have too much pace and power for Hack's structured game plan which unravelled slightly from being constantly pulled from touchline to touchline.

After the stags finally found some clothing which passed the referee's inspection (hint - rugby shorts are recommended, tracksuit bottoms not so much) the home side benefitted from less stressful warmup which showed in the first 5 minutes. This led to Josh Joseph opening the scoring with a penalty, JJ's kicking from the tee and hand among the many positives to take out of the game, the champagne moment of the day definitely his 2nd half drop conversion kicked from touchline due to a faulty tee.

Most of the half belonged to the South West Londoners though, the stand in skippers plan of playing on the smaller Spring Hill to reduce the space for CS's pacy backs fell apart as it turned out they didn't need much real estate to operate, give an inch and they would take 7 points. Their policy of throwing the ball around from all parts of the pitch did give the Gargoyles opportunity from mistakes, Luke Leyland the main benefactor with a interception try following another created from another classy Neil Cunningham attack on the blindside. Excellent work at the breakdown from the likes of James Noble and a returning Dave Lewis gave another area of the game where Hackney had the upper hand, somehow they went into halftime within two scores despite CS Stags seemingly being able to score at will when they had the ball. Quentin Villeret's diligent work in defence saw him temporarily rewarded with a invisibility cloak which he used to great effect to go under the posts untouched from a scrum set play.

The feel good factor continued to the second half despite more points shipped at the wrong end, Rich Mills scoring the try of the day on a loop move which showcased his ability to eat up the yards as a gangly running fly half. Ricky even graced us with us presence and after being denied a second try, adjudged held up, he stole credit from Mr. A. Maul to make up for it. Much more positives in the afternoon for Hackney's second string this week, perhaps the baby steps needed to work towards a W in next week's derby vs. Hampstead