Hitchin 22-34 Stowmarket
PUBLISHED: 13:20 16 October 2017 | UPDATED: 13:20 16 October 2017
The visitors kicked off this first round RFU Senior Vase, with a stiff breeze assisting them.
Unbeaten this season they quickly settled down, attacking in the Hitchin 22, but the defence held out and play was switched to the Stowmarket end exerting pressure on their goal line before a break out saved the day.
Back on the attack a Hitchin forward pass stopped a promising move, and after 10 minutes it was the visitors who opened the scoring to lead 7-0.
Hitchin were being penalised too often, and Stowmarket converted from 20 m to extend their lead. Hitchin came back strongly but after 20 minutes the opposition cut through the middle to run in their second try, unconverted.
Hitchin lost Joe Barnes to a yellow card for a mis-timed tackle, before the Stowmarket nine picked up the ball at the base of the Hitchin scrum 15 metres from the goalline, to touch down under the posts for a try duly converted.
A breakout from their 22 by skipper James Bolter took Hitchin into the opposition half, but once again they were penalised at the breakdown, for Stowmarket to lead 22 – 0 at half tine.
With the penalty count far too high for comfort in the first half, Hitchin were awarded a penalty five minutes after the restart.
Opting for a scrum, they were held by Stowmarket, but soon after a typical run by Alistair Southward took play back to the 22, resulting in scrum half Heiny Schlehmeyer finishing off some good play to touch down for his first try, the conversion failing.
Southward received a head injury and took no further part in the game, but Bolter continued the fight back as he scored following some bright attacking play, Ben Wiggins adding the extra points to narrow the gap to 12-22.
Entering the final quarter of the match, the visitors were putting together phases of attacking play, but were unable to breach the defence, until a number of quick passes and off loads saw them cross in the corner of an excellent converted try
A Hitchin penalty saw them take play to a lineout 15 metres from the goal line, where a yellow card reduced the visitors to 14 men.
Switching play across field, strong running and quick passing saw Schlehmeyer celebrate with his second try to bring the score to 17–29.
A strong run by centre Utah Taylor-Surman got Hitchin back into the opposition 22 before Carywn Morgan finished off a move to crash over in the right corner even if was Wiggins unable to convert.
This was an excellent second half fight back by the home side, who improved their discipline, and showed signs of real promise.
Stowmarket, however, stamped their authority on the game before the final whistle with a fifth try, to end deserved winners by 34–22.
Next week Hitchin return to league duties, with a home tie against Cheshunt RFC.
Hitchin: Sean McGinnity, Thomas Tidey, James Bolter, Samuel Underwood, Nick Panton, Joshua Page, Joe Barnes, Anthony Williams, Heinrich Schlehmeyer, Ben Wiggins, Alistair Southward, Utah Taylor-Surman, Carwyn Morgan, Charles Wood-Jones, Elliot Gibson
Subs Harry Elleston, Max Stallard, Adam Shaw, James Akrill
Scores T: Heinrich Schlehmeyer (2), Carwyn Morgan (1), James Bolter (1) C: Ben Wiggins (1)
Man of the Match: Thomas Tidey