Hitchin begin their league campaign

PUBLISHED: 12:08 21 September 2006 | UPDATED: 10:54 06 May 2010

Hitchin Rugby Club’s first XV

Hitchin Rugby Club's first XV

Hitchin begin their league campaign this Saturday with a trip to Harrow. The Hedgehogs will be looking for a successful season in the London Four North West. New captain Paul Howard said: It s crucial we get a good start and come away with two points; we

Hitchin begin their league campaign this Saturday with a trip to Harrow.

The Hedgehogs will be looking for a successful season in the London Four North West. New captain Paul Howard said: "It's crucial we get a good start and come away with two points; we really need as much support as we can from the club right now."

Hitchin won 33-19 at home to Ely to make it a hat-trick of pre-season victories.

Poor decision making and average defence allowed Ely to go 12 points ahead within 10 minutes.

Hitchin replied through a bulldozing try for fly-half Robert Vivian. A promising partnership is starting to emerge between Vivian and new scrum-half Dan Squire. Full-back and skipper Howard converted the try.

Although Ely had the bigger pack, Hitchin's forwards had the better of the rest of the half.

This resulted in centre Jeremy Heath touching down under the posts with the first of his two tries in his first game back since last season. A scything run following a brilliant angled line left the Ely backline flatfooted and grasping at air. This try was converted by Howard with Hitchin leading 14-12 at the break.

Some solid defence and powerful driving mauls surrounding Paul Robson and man of the match Carl Astley saw Hitchin play a significant amount of the game in the Ely half after the break.

A scrum inside the Ely 22 produced a break down the blindside from Squire enabling him to draw in the opposition blindside and winger and pop the ball to the bullocking Dale Baines, who steamed through the last line of defence to dot down near the posts.

Hitchin were awarded a penalty from the ensuing kick-off. A quick tap from last season's captain Aidan Barnett saw him catch the Ely defence on the back foot, create space and throw a well-timed pass to Heath in space once more to score again under the posts. This was converted again by Howard.

Squire then rounded off a number of phases of play and scored his debut try for the club in the corner. Howard again converted this difficult opportunity from the sideline. Hitchin let Ely in for a converted consolation try minutes before the end.

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