Hitchin throw the cat among the promotion pigeons in London Three North West with a 27-22 win away to leaders Finchley.

It was a third successive victory for the Hedgehogs and with two games in hand on their hosts, they have now eight points behind.

The Comet: No way through for Hitchin's Ian Crompton against Finchley.No way through for Hitchin's Ian Crompton against Finchley. (Image: Martin Wiggins)

Captain Ian Compton led from the front with critical hits and storming runs and aided with the superb kicking of Ben Wiggins, Hitchin repeatedly pinned Finchley in their own half.

Rhys Gregory, James Bolter, and James Dobree-Carey squashed, with dominant tackles, any chances Finchley had in the opening 20 minutes and it was the latter who got the first try, Wiggins adding the conversion.

Finchley struck back with a try of their own but Hitchin would ease further clear when Wiggins landed a penalty and second conversion following another Dobree-Carey try on the stroke of half-time.

The forward then completed his hat-trick, cancelling out five points for Finchley, before Hitchin wrapped up the bonus point through Frederick Rooney, finishing off after a 70-metre sprint from brother Will.

Perhaps crucially Finchley salvaged two bonus points late on with two more tries getting them to five points behind.

But Hitchin will take all the confidence into Saturday's home game with Finsbury Park.