Hitchin’s Squire sends the Harrow side home with a narrow defeat
Hitchin 14 Harrow 13 Hitchin talisman Dan Squire scored all the points against Harrow to record only their fourth league win of the season. Having been beaten easily in the corresponding game on the first league Saturday of the season, the Hedgehogs knew
Hitchin 14 Harrow 13
Hitchin talisman Dan Squire scored all the points against Harrow to record only their fourth league win of the season.
Having been beaten easily in the corresponding game on the first league Saturday of the season, the Hedgehogs knew this would be a difficult fixture.
Fielding a team with numerous changes from the previous week, the home side's early pressure gained an advantage when Squire was able to slot over an early penalty and put Hitchin into an early lead.
Mistakes then let the visitors back into the game with their own penalty goal to draw level.
The game settled into a war of attrition with both sides fighting hard to gain territory and provide an opportunity to put points on the board.
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During this period Hitchin were able to show their potential out wide with wingers Chris Martin and James Larman attacking at pace and asking questions of Harrow.
With veteran second row Doug Brooker guaranteeing good lineout ball and the back row of Dale Baines, Aidan Barnett and Joe Benucci driving on at ruck and maul, the pressure soon told. A fine drive and break resulted in a try by Squire.
Further pressure towards the end of the half with skipper Robbie Vivian providing good service from scrum-half resulted in a further penalty in Hitchin's favour which Squire slotted over.
Hitchin led 11-3 at the break but turning around with the wind and slope against them, the Hedgehogs were aware of the need for calm heads and quality possession if they were to win the game.
Outstanding performances by Brooker, who pulled off one try-saving tackle on the visitors' wing, and the work of centre Mark Jennings, Barnett and Shaun Prutton gave Hitchin the upper hand for most of the second half.
Squire added to the score with a third penalty goal early in the half.
The rest of the game consisted of two lapses of concentration by Hitchin when making unforced errors and allowing the visiting team the opportunity to score two unconverted tries to get close to the home total.
Despite these setbacks, the young Hedgehogs held on for a deserved win which caused many smiling faces at Old Hale Way.
Hitchin skipper Vivian said: "After the hard work put in last week and the changes this week, we are now building a squad of players who are learning from each game they play and show great promise for the future.
"We may be relegated but our foundations are strong. I was proud of the boys' commitment and attitude.