Fourth loss in five games

PUBLISHED: 15:11 09 November 2006 | UPDATED: 11:11 06 May 2010

Finchley 27 Hitchin 10 Hitchin went down to their fourth defeat in five league outings so far this season. The Hedgehogs kicked off and started by strongly pressurising the Finchley pack and forcing them deep into their 22. After five minutes of strong de

Finchley 27 Hitchin 10

Hitchin went down to their fourth defeat in five league outings so far this season.

The Hedgehogs kicked off and started by strongly pressurising the Finchley pack and forcing them deep into their 22.

After five minutes of strong defence, the home side cleared their line and started pegging Hitchin back with a series of lineouts and well-worked scrums.

Finchley's scrum-half and number eight worked a number of peels from the base of the scrum to drive Hitchin back into their own half, forcing a clearance kick close to the 22.

The hosts won the subsequent lineout, playing the ball the width of the field to score an unconverted try in the corner.

Poor defence allowed Finchley to add a two further tries, one converted, and a penalty before Hitchin replied.

Dan Squires capitalised from good forward pressure to break from the base of the scrum and go over for an unconverted try.

With more pressure absorbed by the Hitchin defence, the visitors broke the Finchley line with a good backline move culminating in a blistering Keevans try in the corner to end the half 20-10 down.

Finchley played a ferocious 10 minutes of rugby after the break which necessitated a period of consistent defence from Hitchin.

Hitchin looked to be gaining the better of the half as the forwards mounted a number of bruising attacks into Finchley territory.

Sadly the rhythm of the game was broken when the Finchley fly-half sustained a serious leg injury as a result of a crunching tackle.

The game was suspended for 15 minutes after which Hitchin failed to regain the initiative.

There followed a sustained period of pressure from Finchley with further heroic Hitchin efforts in defence.

During this period Hitchin made a number of replacements including scorer Keevans who was forced to leave the park injured.

The reorganised Hedgehogs stuck firmly to the task, repelling a series of forward attacks centred on the Finchley number eight, eventually creating sufficient space for Hitchin fly-half's to peg Finchley back into their own half.

Hitchin made a last minute drive into the Finchley 22 but pressure in defence forced a critical handling error.

This allowed the Finchley wing the open field and a score under the posts and the converted try marked the end of time added on.

Other XV scores on Saturday: Hitchin II 37 Fullerians II 5; Hitchin III 29 Hertford V 17.

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