Hitchin win easily

Verulamians 0 Hitchin 17 Hitchin enjoyed their second victory over Verulamians in a fortnight. After defeating them before Easter to secure their place in the Herts Presidents Trophy final, Hitchin looked to repeat the performance against a home side bol

Verulamians 0 Hitchin 17

Hitchin enjoyed their second victory over Verulamians in a fortnight.

After defeating them before Easter to secure their place in the Herts Presidents' Trophy final, Hitchin looked to repeat the performance against a home side bolstered by the return of their captain at scrum-half.

The first half saw Hitchin encamped in the home side's half going against the wind.

However they failed to turn the territory into points.

Persistent pressure resulted in three points from a penalty converted by man of the match Simon Beadel and Verulamians down to 14 men for 10 minutes.

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Hitchin, hungry to score a try, ran three kickable penalties.

Unfortunately the storming runs by Richard Stidolph and fellow front row Joff Lord failed to break the home side's defence.

The Hitchin backs showed they were also hungry to cross the try line, with Beadel running from his own 22 and making his way deep into the Verulamians half. Unfortunately the last pass failed to go to hand and the opportunity to score missed.

Although leading 3-0 at the break and with the wind now in their favour, Hitchin were put under pressure as Verulamians came back with the bit between their teeth, desperate to secure victory to aid their relegation battle.

The home side kept the play in tight with their pack grinding away at the Hitchin defence and their inside centre crashing it up the field. Hitchin eventually forced an error to turn over the ball. With the ball in the backs, Hitchin looked dangerous with Mike Jones, Robert Willoughby and sub Malcolm Fraser aggressive in the counter attack. An attack out wide saw the visitors tear down to the Verulamians line, and tackled in the corner.

Nick Panton and an enthusiastic opposition winger were sent to the bin to cool off following the ruck. Hitchin retained the ball and sucked in the defence eventually firing it out wide for Willoughby to score.

Hitchin, revitalised after the score, moved up a gear and following a turnover on halfway and some great rugby to keep the ball alive, Chris Davies got himself on the scoresheet.

With 10 minutes to go, the hosts tried to get themselves on the scoreboard. Their pack disrupted the scrums and won their lineouts and made their way to the Hitchin 22.

Hitchin were not going to give up their clean sheet, and led by Jo Benucci, showed true determination to keep Verulamians from crossing their line.

Other scores: Hitchin II 27 Old Albanian III 5; Royston Vets 7 Hitchin III 14; Hitchin IV 10 Biggleswade Vets 29; Hitchin U17s 38 Stevenage U17s 5.

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