Hitchin through to quarter-final after West Norfolk win
PUBLISHED: 13:53 14 November 2016 | UPDATED: 14:21 14 November 2016
Danny Loo Photography 2016
Hitchin booked their place in the next round of the London & SE Division Cup with a home win over West Norfolk.
On a weekend when there were four walkovers in the round, Hitchin progressed through to the quarter-final stage despite falling behind to an early try.
There was a certain feeling of déjà vu about this game as West Norfolk scored almost from the kick off from a pushover try to take a seven-point lead
It took until the end of the first quarter before Hitchin got on the scoreboard, although their pack had already started to take control of the game.
A clean break in midfield by Jack Peachey was finished off by winger Matt Houlden and Peachey added the extra points to draw level
Five minutes later, and a quickly won ruck ball and two passes gave Ritchie Sinclair the time and space to round his man and score, but too far out to enable Peachey to convert.
The Hedgehogs’ pack were again a force to be reckoned with, and winning ball in the opponents’ half it again reached Sinclair who made sure his next try was under the posts to ensure the conversion by Peachey was a much simpler effort.
West Norfolk were pressing in the Hitchin 22 when Adam Shaw got the ball, kicked ahead and caught his own kick to take play to the visitors’ five metre line.
It resulted in a pushover try from a scrum with Ryan Arbon touching down for Peachey to convert and give Hitchin a 26- 7 lead at half-time.
The first 10 minutes of the second period saw the visitors trapped in their own half, but the pressure from Hitchin came to nothing due in part to poor passing and a failure to look after the ball.
A yellow card for a high tackle saw West Norfolk reduced to 14 men and Hitchin took advantage with Arbon scoring again as the dominant Hitchin pack formed a maul to cross the line for Peachey to add the extra points.
Hitchin’s numbers were then reduced with a red card for a punch and the extra man allowed West Norfolk to have the last word as they broke through in midfield to score a converted try before the conclusion at 33-12.
Hitchin have now won six of their last seven matches in both the league and cup but once again they failed to capitalise on their first half performance despite territorial advantage and good possession.
This weekend they return to league duty as they travel to Kilburn Cosmos RFC
Hitchin: McGinnity, Tidey, Bolter, Underwood, Hobbs, Page, Griffiths, Arbon, Gregory, Shaw, Houlden, Morgan, Peachey, Sinclair, Gibson. Subs: Verschuur, Cartwright, Norman, Merrilees.