Three wins for three for Hitchin and successes too for Letchworth and Datchworth
- Credit: HITCHIN RFC
Hitchin won the first key battle in the race for the London Three North West title - beating St Albans by a single point.
Both sides had come into the game at Old Hale Way undefeated after four matches but it was the hosts who claimed the spoils with a 28-27 success.
The match was tightly contested throughout with discipline being a key factor in the final outcome.
The hosts found themselves 13-10 down after two yellow cards had hampered their efforts.
Saints also had a yellow card for their troubles, Anthony Stevenson spending 10 minutes off the field, and Hitchin were able to grab a try on the stroke of half-time for a 17-13 lead.
Will Rooney got that with Ben Wiggins converting, adding to his two earlier penalties and a try from James Bolter.
The Hedgehogs started the second half as they ended the first but while they had plenty of territorial advantage, mistakes proved their undoing.
- 1 Plans to demolish two houses and build 20 flats in their place
- 2 Former pub owner admits to food hygiene offences
- 3 Missing 25-year-old last seen in Coreys Mill Lane found in Stevenage
- 4 Get ready to geek out as a new gaming café comes to Stevenage
- 5 New avenue of trees planted in Hitchin's Bancroft
- 6 Spaceship 'landing' at school grabs Prime Minister's attention
- 7 Neighbours set to host Jubilee street party in aid of hospice - and you can too!
- 8 Year-long car park closure as construction for new multi-storey set to begin
- 9 Pedestrian seriously injured after crash near Lister Hospital in Stevenage
- 10 Nuns spotted in Stevenage as Lytton Players prepare to put on Sister Act at Gordon Craig Theatre
A big moment came after an altercation close to the St Albans line. That resulted in a yellow card for Hitchin's James Dobree-Carey and a red for Stevenson.
Hitchin kicked a penalty to extend their advantage to seven but Saints handled this period of 14-aside better than Hitchin, their dominant scrum winning penalties and mauling over twice to give them a 27-20 lead.
Hitchin did pull a try back from Ciaran Sale but the conversion was missed to leave them two points adrift.
The final quarter provided huge entertainment for the watching crowd with fast hands and strong defence simply adding to the nerves and excitement.
Both teams had chances to seal the win but when Hitchin were given a penalty at a scrum, Wiggins kicked the three to give them the win.
The seconds also beat St Albans 38-25, their tries coming from Louix West (two), Phillip Ryan, Arron Aatkar, Greg Ranson and Lewis Montague.
The thirds won their first game of the season beating Harpenden 42-5 to make it a great day for the club, Carlos Jurado, scoring four tries in his last match for the Hedgehogs.
Letchworth continued their superb season with a 39-10 bonus-point win away to Hackney.
The basement club made life extremely difficult for the Legends but in the end, dominance at the scrum, especially in the first half, made it comfortable if not overly satisfying.
Letchworth got the first score of the game after a drive up the field. Joe Allison made the incisive break and Arun Johal delivered the final pass for Tatenda Gurere to dot down.
Dan Duke kicked a penalty only to see it cancelled out by the hosts but two yellow cards allowed Letchworth to stretch even further clear
A great drive and offload by Conor Turner saw the ball played out to first Duke and then Johal before Gurere went in for his second.
Duke converted that from near the touch-line but he couldn't add the extras to a score from Kyle Hughes as the half closed.
It still gave them a 20-3 lead and although Hackney came out with real determination, it was the north Herts side who continued to add points to the scoreboard.
Luke Mongston set-up Johal for a richly deserved try, Duke converting, and although Hackney did pull one converted score back, Gurere repaid the compliment as Johal went in for his second.
A quick tap-penalty from Chris Gibbs caught everyone on the hop as he scooted through to finish the game off.
Datchworth were finally able to celebrate their 50th birthday, albeit two years later than scheduled, and their first team made it an even sweeter night by winning their first game of the season, 15-12 against Enfield Ignatians.
They defended with passion, attacked with purpose and maintained discipline for the most part and although there were still unforced errors, this was much better than their previous four outings.
They ended the first-half with a 10-5 lead with the only down side being it wasn't a bigger margin to reflect their dominance.
Will Williams, Connor Harris and Dom Negri carried well as did Franco Caroleo, a constant thorn in Enfield’s side.
Stuart Young spotted a gap around the fringes and dived under the posts for the first score, Tom Wood adding the extras, and a further penalty came after Enfield had pulled five points back.
The visitors came out firing in the second half and it was Datchworth’s turn to front up in defence, in particular James Hankin who made tackle after tackle.
They did have chances of there own, great work from Connor Mitchell presented Wood with another penalty chance but he pushed this one wide.
They weren't to be denied though. Tom Johnson took them into Enfield’s 22 and from the next phase, impressive youngster Ollie Barnes ghosted through a gap and over the line.
The conversion was missed though and it made the final 20 minutes nervous for the Men in Green.
Enfield pushed for the most part and got a converted try for their efforts.
But even with Datch down to 14, the home side saw out the game to move off the foot of the table.