Hitchin are off and running

Hitchin 15 Fullerians 7 Hitchin won for the first time in the London Four North West on a cold and windy day. Both sides, yet to record a win, produced some scrappy play as they sought to gain the initiative. The visitors, with the considerable wind in th

Hitchin 15 Fullerians 7

Hitchin won for the first time in the London Four North West on a cold and windy day.

Both sides, yet to record a win, produced some scrappy play as they sought to gain the initiative.

The visitors, with the considerable wind in their favour, did not take full advantage of the conditions, but were denied the lead by twice missing relatively easy penalties.

Hitchin struggled to come to terms with the wind and several promising passing movements broke down.

Their chance to open the scoring with a lineout five metres out saw poor handling let Fullerians off the hook. Five minutes before half time, another promising position was lost when the referee reversed a penalty for Hitchin, with Joe Benucci receiving a yellow card.

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Changing round for the second half with no score, Hitchin would have fancied their chances, but it was the visitors who opened the scoring with a converted try.

Hitchin used the wind to take play to the visitors' 22 area, but were unable to convert pressure into points, until a backs movement was infiltrated by Aidan Barnett who put Vinnie Kevans in for an unconverted try to bring Hitchin within two points.

With the pack holding their own, and Nick Panton winning some good lineout ball, the home side started to believe, and Kevans scored again in the corner, following an excellent break by James Larman.

Now with their tails up, Hitchin took play again into the Fullerians half, and a swift passing movement saw Larman cross over in the corner for their third try.

Jack Peachey's conversion failed, but the final whistle followed to give Hitchin their first win this season.

Coach Dave Marshall said: "This is looking like last year's start to the season. If the players start to believe in themselves, we can perhaps get the winning habit back again."

Other results: Hitchin III 25 Letchworth III 17; Datchworth IV 29 Hitchin IV 10; Hitchin Ladies 0 Hertford Ladies 10.

* The first game of the season for Hitchin Colts saw them thrash Crusaders 57-0 in the National Cup.

Winger Will Anderson opened the scoring before Hitchin then ran in tries on a regular basis, mainly through the forwards although the backs made massive gains when they were able to move the ball wide.

Chris Caldwell scored three tries and kicked six conversions, including some well struck from right on the touchline.

The other scorers were Jesse Gerhard, Robbie Smith, Dan Scott and Joe Lockyer with two tries.

* Hitchin Ladies showed their improvement over the last 12 months in a friendly against Hertford.

This time last year Hertford won the fixture 75-0 but only won 10-0 on this occasion.

Hitchin started the game playing 13 against 14 and with about a two stone per player weight disadvantage.

Hertford managed to rumble over for one scrappy try in the first half and another late on as the extra player and general tiredness told.

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