Hitchin prove too much for Datchworth
Hitchin 20 Datchworth 7 Hitchin entertained Datchworth on Saturday for the London NW4 local derby. The Datchworth pack, who have been responsible for much of their success this season, were held in the early exchanges by their Hitchin counterparts, who
Hitchin 20 Datchworth 7
Hitchin entertained Datchworth on Saturday for the London NW4 local derby.
The Datchworth pack, who have been responsible for much of their success this season, were held in the early exchanges by their Hitchin counterparts, who had been playing well in recent weeks and were looking forward to this encounter.
The visitors started well and had the better of territory and possession, but poor handling let them down. A missed drop goal attempt was matched by a Hitchin missed penalty.
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Datchworth looked like scoring first after pressurising the home team in their 22, and managed to hack a spilt ball over the line but the referee was unable to see who grounded the ball and awarded Hitchin the 22 drop out.
This wake up call sparked Hitchin into gear to take the lead. Following a midfield scrum, Carwyn Morgan got his line away and good handling by the backs saw James Larman set free to dash in for an unconverted try.
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Despite several exchanges, with the set pieces fiercely contested the score remained at 5-0 at half time.
After the break Hitchin took play into the Datchworth half, and a sniping run by Larman down the touchline and an inside pass saw Joe Benucci cross the line to take the score to 10-0.
The visitors hit back taking the play into the Hitchin 22, and questionable defence let Datchworth number 8 Owen Davis score under the posts to reduce the deficit to just three points.
With 20 minutes to go coach David Marshall made three substitutions, including a debut for prop David Seller, and the appearance of England Deaf Rugby's Ryan Arbon.
Datchworth continued to attack but pressure from the Hitchin defence led to the ball being spilt at crucial moments.
A Hitchin kick downfield was collected on the halfway line by Larman who made an excellent weaving run through the opposition defence to link with his fellow winger Mike Painter who ran in to score on his first XV debut.
With the conversion failing, Datchworth now needed to score twice. Good handling saw the visitors gain the Hitchin 22 and repeated rumbles down the blind side saw them edge closer and closer to the Hitchin try line.
The increased intensity started to tell on the visitors and resulted in the villagers' inside centre becoming isolated and penalised for holding on. The boot from Rob Vivian saw play move deep into the Datchworth half and relieve the pressure.
With the home side's pack now taking control, flanker Aidan Barnett intercepted a pass from an isolated Owen Davis to canter in unchallenged from 30 yards to increase the lead to 20-7 which proved to be the last action of the game.
Skipper Carwyn Morgan was pleased with the result and his team's performance. "This game started on Tuesday for us, a good week's training really showed today."
The Hedgehogs' next league match is away to Old Hamptonians on 29 November.
Welwyn 2 XV 29 Hitchin 2 XV 0
Hitchin 3 XV 14 Harlow 3 XV 48