Hedgehogs are too strong for visitors

PUBLISHED: 10:05 23 February 2006 | UPDATED: 09:40 06 May 2010

Hitchin 36 West London 5 Hitchin now look assured of a top half league finish following this easy win. They produced some of their best rugby of the season in a second-half performance that will build confidence for their remaining four league fixtures. P

Hitchin 36 West London 5

Hitchin now look assured of a top half league finish following this easy win.

They produced some of their best rugby of the season in a second-half performance that will build confidence for their remaining four league fixtures.

Playing against a spirited West London side, who are battling against relegation, Hitchin found themselves in another close encounter for the first 40 minutes.

Another positive start saw them camped in the West London 22 for the first 10 minutes. But the familiar trait of the season raised its ugly head again with Hitchin having nothing to show for it.

The half saw both sides on an even keel until a break by man of the match Craig Blewett and some good passing saw Paul Howard round off a well-taken try in the corner that he converted.

The last 10 minutes of the half saw West London camped on the Hitchin line but despite many phases of attack, the home side's defence was resolute.

This defensive effort from Hitchin seemed to give the team a new-found belief and the second half was a different story.

Hitchin applied the pressure from the restart and never let off with some fantastic team tries and open running rugby.

The first of the half was scored by fly-half Paddy McCullagh, who finished off a number of driving mauls by the forwards.

A well-timed Marcus Moore pass found McCullagh in space to dive over the line.

Blewett was next on the scoresheet with a brilliant individual try.

A quick tap penalty saw Blewett step and crash his way through and round five tacklers and score the first of his two tries close to the sideline.

Howard obliged with the two points from a difficult angle to take Hitchin out to a 19-point lead.

Hitchin then went on the rampage again with the outstanding Chris Martin playing out of his skin.

A brilliant solo break from Martin saw him caught close to the line. The ball was whipped out through the backs to flying winger Ritchie Sinclair, who dotted down for the first of his two tries.

Again from the restart, Hitchin produced another spectacular piece of interplay involving both backs and forwards that resulted in Blewett scoring his second try.

To West London's credit, they did not lie down and came back to score a consolation try eight minutes from time.

Hitchin had the last word with Sinclair's second of the afternoon.

He scored under the posts again following a break from Lee Sheldrake and great supporting runs from Bradley Walters and Julian Emmerson.

Howard added the extra points to round off a successful afternoon.

Captain Aidan Barnett said: "We know we have the ability; it's just a case of being positive and believing in ourselves.

"I'm pleased with the performance and feel confident about the rest of the season.

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