New champs too strong for Hitchin

Chiswick 40 Hitchin 12 Hitchin had high hopes of providing an upset when they travelled to West London to meet Herts/Middlesex One league leaders Chiswick. And despite the final score, the Hedgehogs gave the new champions a strong contest. Within minutes,

Chiswick 40 Hitchin 12

Hitchin had high hopes of providing an upset when they travelled to West London to meet Herts/Middlesex One league leaders Chiswick.

And despite the final score, the Hedgehogs gave the new champions a strong contest.

Within minutes, Hitchin had a five metre lineout which resulted in their loose head prop driving over from a maul and scoring a fine opening try which was converted by fly-half Simon Beadel to put them 7-0 in front.

Chiswick were stung into action and a lineout in the visitors' 22 resulted in quick passing and off-loading for the left wing to score an unconverted try in the corner.

Further pressure by Chiswick forced Hitchin into conceding penalties from which one was converted for a goal to put the home side in front for the first time.

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The referee then sin binned the Chiswick number seven for persistent infringement which gave the North Herts side the impetus to make use of their numerical advantage.

Unfortunately turnover ball in the home side's half resulted in a breakaway try and Hitchin went in at the break 13-7 down.

From the kick off at the start of the second half, Hitchin drove the ball in their forwards up the field and were close to the Chiswick line when another turnover resulted in a second breakaway try.

They went the full length of the field and when converted put the visitors further behind.

Outstanding performances by skipper Carwyn Morgan playing at full-back, Nick Panton, Mike Jones and Beadel at fly-half kept the game flowing and it was a great lineout steal by Panton which led to a sweeping move by Hitchin.

Jones made a swift break through the Chiswick defence to put winger James Larman in for an unconverted try and edge the Hedgehogs closer.

This was to be the their final score as playing 'catch-up rugby' resulted in a spate of unforced errors and turnovers.

This allowed Chiswick to score 20 unanswered points with three tries and a penalty goal.

During this time Hitchin centre Vinnie Kevans was yellow carded for questioning the referee's decisions and with all their replacements used up, Beadel had to leave the field putting Hitchin down to 13 players for more than five minutes.

Despite this, the Hitchin side finished the stronger when their fitness told.

Coach Dave Marshall's post-match team talk revolved around the game they had given the league leaders who have now won the division with four matches still remaining.

They can now concentrate on their county cup match versus Barnet, followed by a league game against second placed Old Merchant Taylors, at home in successive weeks.

Captain Carwyn Morgan was pleased with his side's commitment and is confident, bearing in mind injuries and unavailabilities, that the future looks positive for the Hedgehogs.

Other scores: Hitchin II 12 Poblenou Enginyers Barcelona 32; Hitchin III 8 Hertford V 30; Hitchin Colts 19 Tring 17.

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