Hitchin pull away from relegation zone
Hitchin 12 Old Merchant Taylors 6 Hitchin distanced themselves from the bottom two clubs in the league with a victory over Old Merchant Taylors (OMT) by two tries to two penalties. Once again Hitchin were down by a penalty in the first few minutes but a
Hitchin 12 Old Merchant Taylors 6
Hitchin distanced themselves from the bottom two clubs in the league with a victory over Old Merchant Taylors (OMT) by two tries to two penalties.
Once again Hitchin were down by a penalty in the first few minutes but after several minutes of pressure from OMT they broke away and Mike Painter had a chance to take play to the visitors' line when he kicked through a loose ball into the 22 but was unable to keep control.
OMT came back and another infringement at a breakdown saw them convert the penalty to take a six-point lead. After several exchanges the Hitchin pack took play to the OMT's line but poor handling let them down.
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The visitors' fly half looked dangerous and broke the Hitchin line, but the cover defence held out, although another kickable OMT penalty was missed.
Turning round for the second half, and with the benefit of the wind, Hitchin took the attack to the OMT 22.
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An injury to James Drury resulted in a reshuffle to the pack and in the backs Painter was replaced by Jack Peachey, before an excellent handling move by the backs saw James Larman cross in the corner for an unconverted try.
OMT came back and spent time in the home side's 22 but the defence held out and play switched to the other end where the Hitchin pack gained possession of the ball and Vinnie Kevans took the direct route to the line and converted his own try to extend the lead to 12-6.
Substitute Tom Lawman came on for Sean McGinnity at prop and, despite losing skipper Carwyn Morgan for 10 minutes, Hitchin continued to attack with some positive rugby until the final whistle.
Coach David Marshall was pleased with the effort of all the players. "An important win, without playing at our best, although some of the running rugby in the second half showed promise," he said.