Hedgehogs continue to rise up the table

Old Abbotstonians 14 Hitchin 29 HITCHIN are up to third in the Herts/Middlesex One after achieving the double over Old Abbotstonians with victory on a heavy pitch at Hayes. The Hitchin game plan to play the open game and attack from all positions was hamp

Old Abbotstonians 14 Hitchin 29

HITCHIN are up to third in the Herts/Middlesex One after achieving the double over Old Abbotstonians with victory on a heavy pitch at Hayes.

The Hitchin game plan to play the open game and attack from all positions was hampered by the heavy conditions, and on a firmer pitch the visitors could well have run in more tries.

Old Abbotstonians kicked off with the strong wind behind them but Hitchin attacked at every opportunity.


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A break by man of the match Aidan Barnett nearly produced a try for Adam Shaw who was held up on the try line.

However, it was the home side who opened the scoring when a Hitchin attack broke down in midfield for the opposition to kick through, chase up and score to take a 7-0 lead.

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Hitchin continued to spread the ball wide, but a combination of running into contact and good covering tackles from the opposition brought no results.

The issue of a yellow card to the OAs gave the visitors the initiative, and following good handling by Jimmy Scott and James Larman, Phil 'Taff' Thomas crossed for a try, which he converted to bring the scores level at half time.

It was now Hitchin's turn to benefit from the wind, and following a crafty kick ahead by Rob Vivian, the visitors put pressure on the OA's line.

Adam Shaw (injured) was replaced by Simon Beadel, before a break by 'Magic' Jones resulted in him scoring wide out, converted by Thomas to take the lead.

Five minutes later, Beadel finished off a flowing move, following a turn over, to score. This time the conversion was missed.

The home side now fought back, launching two attacks which were stopped by good defence.

Vinnie Kevans left the field, which forced Hitchin to bring on James Drury to the pack and moving flanker Stewart Roberts to centre.

Hitchin continued to run the ball, even from under their posts, but last-ditch tackling denied them more points.

Another yellow card for the hosts was followed almost immediately by a penalty converted by Thomas to give Hitchin a 22-7 lead.

In open play only a marginal forward pass by Roberts stopped Beadel from increasing their lead.

Joe Benucci replaced the excellent Chris Davies (victim of an undetected head stamping) before OAs broke from their 22 and slipped the defence to run in a converted try.

Hitchin replied with a further try, scored by Roberts following a break by Larman, to complete the scoring.

The Hedgehogs are third in the league, with a game in hand, with a rearranged match at home to Old Actonians this Saturday.

Other results: Hertford Exiles 17 Hitchin II 5; Cheshunt III 8 Hitchin III 10; Fullerians IV 28 Hitchin IV 26.

* Hitchin's fourth XV experienced a family try fest at Fullerians on Saturday.

Terry Coughlan and his son James shared four tries, with James - in his first run out for a senior team - claiming three and putting his father in for a fourth.

Hitchin have a long history of fathers and sons playing together but this is thought to be the first time that both have scored in the same match.

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