The Gogs have had plenty of those days this seasons. 


You know the ones?


Those days when every second pass is a knock on. Every tackle somehow high. Every lineout crooked. Every carry backwards. Every crunch an injury.


Those days when everything finally comes together too late to matter.


Yep. The Gogs of 2018/19 have had plenty of those days.


But Saturday, the last league game of the season, was not another one of those fucking days.


Buoyed by a victory in Hayes two weeks before, the Gogs arrived at Springhill to make a statement. 


Having ‘drawn’ with Quintin somewhere near Barnes earlier in season, but chalked up another ‘L’ owing to a traditional lack of front row, there was something to prove across the squad. 


With a scrum-fit tight five of Mike Waithe, Alex Higgs, Dave Bates, Mat Cole and Franck Cohadon ready to go, Captain for-one-last-time, Matt Hanton decided to take Quintin on upfront from the get go, smashing the ball into touch in the 22 from the kick off. 


What followed was the start Hackney have been calling for all season. They trusted the phases, pulled Quintin left, then right, then opened it up, with President Rooke keeping the pace fast with quick taps. 


Hackney finally took their chance and spun it out, putting Kieran Murray over the line for his fifth try of the season. 


Hanton’s afters made it seven-nil Hackney and put Murray on even pegging with Rich Shorey for most tries this season (official stats may differ).


Hackney continued to exert pressure with heft in the midfield in the forms of Huge Price and James Simpson, eventually winning the Gogs a penalty in front of the posts for Hanton to slot. 


Whether that kick was into, with or across the breeze is hard to tell. You’d need a meteorologist or some kind of pirate to figure out what way the wind was blowing. 


Another thing a pirate might recognise is that the wind had somehow put a cannon on the Quintin’s outhalf’s right leg. Up against repeated lineouts in their own 22, Hackney eventually conceded a try in the corner.


The intensity with which Hackney had come out to end their season was now lagging and after talking their way out of a second Quintin try (the ref didn’t see it grounded either!) the visitors scored a second following a quick tap off a 5-metre penalty. 


At the half the score stood at 10-10. Hanton ensured the huddle there would be more points to come, but for much of the second half it didn’t feel like there would be. 


With the help of the wind Hanton had two hoofs at goal from near the halfway line, with neither making the cut. 


Even as the line out began winning some scrappy, slappy ball, Hackney struggled to break through. Typified by the Yassassin seemingly running out of ideas mid-way through a carry into Quintin’s 22. 


With time running out it seemed the ‘W’ Hackney had come out so desperate for was slowly fading away. 


The time had come to rally, and as the Baron’s baritone declaration of “We didn’t come here to draw!” rang out around Springhill, Hackney found the intensity they needed once again. 


After redeeming himself, Yass got through an off-load to the wing. And who else could have been on the receiving end of it but Rich Shorey? 


A man who after the match claims to get faster with age turned on the gas like a man half as young-looking, skinning the last defender to dive into the corner. 


Shorey in! And back to the top of the tries table.  


Of course there are always those perfect endings we all run on to the pitch with in our heads, never really expecting them to see the light of day.


But few could have better planned an ending for the skipper’s last shift than a penalty around the 22 with 30 seconds left on clock. 


As the time ticked over into the red, Hanton put away a final three pointer, sealing the victory at 18-10 to glorious Gogs of 2018/19. 


Player ratings: 69s all round.