Hedgehogs can concentrate on the cup
Saracens Amateurs 13 Hitchin 10 Hitchin now have a job on their hands to finish third in the Herts/Middlesex One after this defeat. The conditions were windy and wet and not the best for either team who are renowned in the league for playing fast, open ru
Saracens Amateurs 13 Hitchin 10
Hitchin now have a job on their hands to finish third in the Herts/Middlesex One after this defeat.
The conditions were windy and wet and not the best for either team who are renowned in the league for playing fast, open rugby. The poor conditions led to multiple handling errors from either side.
Hitchin dominated the set piece with joint man of the matches leading the way.
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Joff Lord was striking well in the scrums and Nick Panton was towering in the lineout.
The rest of the Hitchin pack were not far behind their team-mates with some bulldozing runs from Sean McGinnity and chaotic sidesteps from Aidan Barnett.
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Saracens were first to score midway through the first half.
A kick over the top to the far corner led to an unlucky bounce which defeated the Hitchin skipper and was pounced upon by the Saracens winger.
Hitchin had two attempts at the posts after Saracens were caught offside, but unfortunately failed to secure the three points in the windy conditions.
The Hedgehogs stormed into the new half after an enthusiastic talk from coach Dave Marshall.
Another infringement for offside near the Saracens line saw Hitchin take a quick tap resulting in Barnett putting the visitors on the scoreboard. Unfortunately the try went unconverted.
Play continued from end-to-end when Saracens made the most of some confusion over a quick lineout to create an overlap out wide.
The Saracens kicker was also struggling in the conditions and was unable to convert.
Hitchin pinned Saracens back into their 22 where the hosts had a lineout. The ball went loose, and Panton sprinted to claim the ball and drive through to score in the corner.
This brought the scores level but a Saracens penalty was slotted over to give them a three-point lead.
With five minutes left, Hitchin proceeded to attack.
Their back line, which had not clicked all game, started to make an impact into the Saracens line. Supported by their stalwart pack, Hitchin surged nearer and nearer to the line.
However it was not to be Hitchin's day when the ball astonishingly was won back by Saracens who cleared their lines to end the game.
Hitchin will now focus all their efforts on Sunday's Herts Presidents' Trophy semi-final at home to Verulamians (3pm kick-off).
* The second team went overseas and visited Barcelona for a physical Greene King Super Premiere merit table game against Poblenou Enginyers.
After leaving Hitchin at 5am that morning, the team still put up a spirited first-half display.
They kept a clean sheet and pressed the opposition for 10 minutes before finally being broken down by a strong Spanish back-line.
Hitchin lost the half 31-0 (five tries plus three conversions) before changing tactics in the second half.
They used their powerful pack to pressurise their hosts which allowed Dermot Coughlan the chance to score a blistering try, converted by Tom Hobbs from the touchline.
The visitors continued to press the home side, but had to move to uncontested scrums, and losing their advantage, conceded three tries in the last 15 minutes to end beaten by 51-7.
* The third team were beaten 37-7 by Black Horse, while the ladies' team defeated Chelmsford 15-7.