Hitchin hopes flounder down at Hemel

PUBLISHED: 11:15 29 March 2007 | UPDATED: 11:43 06 May 2010

Hemel Hempstead 25 Hitchin 5 Hitchin lost at Herts/Middlesex One league leaders Hemel Hempstead in the Herts Presidents Trophy semi-finals. Fielding a side with six changes from the previous week s league success against Harrow, the young Hedgehogs toile

Hemel Hempstead 25 Hitchin 5

Hitchin lost at Herts/Middlesex One league leaders Hemel Hempstead in the Herts Presidents' Trophy semi-finals.

Fielding a side with six changes from the previous week's league success against Harrow, the young Hedgehogs toiled against their more powerful opponents who had won their league match 134-0 a week before!

Hemel centred their play around the all-round skills of county squad member Ray Adde who along with centre Ross Willoughby carved holes in a fragile defence time and time again.

Despite this, the North Herts side never gave up and were still in the game at the final whistle.

The scoring opened with a penalty goal to the home side converted by Adde who followed up minutes later with a scything run through a weak Hitchin defence to score a try which he also converted.

Hitchin had many opportunities to work out a score during the first half with their lineout working well but were outweighed at scrum and ruck where the Hemel pack took advantage.

A second try and a penalty goal took the score up to 18 points with Hitchin failing to put any points on the board through losing possession and turning over too much ball in contact.

Despite the Hemel superiority at half time, Hitchin took the game to their hosts in the second half and once again showed their doggedness in chasing a lost cause.

Colt Pieter Frisch tackled and harried in defence and together with his fellow back rowers, Aidan Barnett and Graham King, used what possession they had to drive into ruck and maul and test the defensive ability of the Hemel side.

One such flowing movement midway through the half resulted in left wing Vinnie Kevans making the most of some space out wide to drive over for a fine try.

Hedgehogs lost King to injury and substituted wing James Larman late in the half. Back row replacement Dale Baines, nursing a hip injury, injected some direction into the pack which began to put the home side on the back foot.

With the subsequent substitution of both second rowers Dougie Brooker and Hayden Perkes, their replacements Aaron Johnson and colt Nick Panton rallied bravely.

But the visitors were unable to add to their score and the tie was rounded off with a final try from Hemel.


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