Consolidation season for beaten Hedgehogs

Hitchin 12 Hammersmith and Fulham 37 HITCHIN coach Mick Carey remained philosophical after this reverse to last season s promotion rivals. Carey said It s been a tough season for us but we ve consolidated in a league that we ve been promoted into. We ar

Hitchin 12 Hammersmith and Fulham 37

HITCHIN coach Mick Carey remained philosophical after this reverse to last season's promotion rivals.

Carey said "It's been a tough season for us but we've consolidated in a league that we've been promoted into.

"We are the highest we have ever been in the history of our club.

"Injuries have played their part and we've lost a lot of experienced players and that has ultimately taken its toll."

Hitchin's injury-ravaged season continued as they lost to their 2004-5 promotion rivals.

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This was despite starting strongly and looking to control the game in the forwards driving up the field gaining valuable yards following a series of driving mauls.

The pressure was soon eased as Hammersmith finally managed to get their hands on the ball and counter attack to score under the posts following a dubious pass from their centre. The try was converted.

Hammersmith again managed to force their way into the Hitchin 22 and scored a pushover try following a scrum on the five-metre line. This try went unconverted.

Hitchin's retort was admirable as they began to string together some constructive play. Following considerable pressure on the Hammersmith line and some excellent passing, Hitchin scored in the corner through winger Ritchie Sinclair. The angle made the conversion difficult and it was missed.

From the restart Hitchin surged their way back up the field following two immense runs from second row Carl Astley. A break from Jeremy Heath saw him produce a miracle offload to fly- half Adam Shaw who ran in unopposed under the Hammersmith posts.

Shaw converted the try to leave the scoreline level at the break.

In the second half the passion that Hitchin had demonstrated before the break dissipated and Hammersmith began to turn the screw.

Again weak defending and some ill-judged decisions let Hammersmith score two quick tries and Hitchin were never able to get back into the game.

With Hitchin having to play catch-up rugby, Hammersmith were able to capitalise on mistakes and a couple of late tries left them with a flattering scoreline and the two league points.

Coach Carey added: "We play Datchworth at home on March 25 which is always a good derby so we are looking forward to that; all support would be very much appreciated.