Hitchin suffer loss at Tabard on return to the higher division
PUBLISHED: 11:37 18 September 2019 | UPDATED: 11:52 19 September 2019
Promoted Hitchin were left disappointed on day one of the new London North West Three season as they lost 23-5 away to Tabard.
It wasn't all bad though with the scrum in particular causing the Radlett side numerous problems.
And the gap between the two isn't insurmountable either, giving the Hedgehogs plenty of hope for success as they go deeper into the year.
Hitchin got things started at Cobden Hill but were immediately put under pressure by the hosts.
And after only partially clearing the initial foray, they were penalised in front of the posts for not rolling away and Tabard skipper Jack Reilly kicked the first points of the game.
He also bagged the first try on 18 minutes after another penalty had been given away by Hitchin.
Discipline was proving key in the first half and after a shot at goal following a high tackle was missed, further penalties and a yellow card saw Tom King and Reilly's boot make it 15-0.
Leo Weinstein completed a miserable half for Hitchin as he scored the hosts' third try just before the break.
Aside from the penalty count, Hitchin were struggling to gain much good ball with the line-out failing to function despite the scrum's dominance.
And it looked like the second half would follow the same pattern too when Reilly made it 23-0 in the opening minute.
But Hitchin finally started to show signs of life with veteran centre Carwyn Morgan to the fore.
He broke into the Tabard 22 and after finding no close support, a kick through for the winger to chase ended with the Tabard full-back being bundled into touch.
Tabard were penalised at the line-out and Hitchin naturally opted for a scrum from which Will Evans darted through to score.
A penalty attempt drifted wide for Hitchin and that was that as neither side could add to the score.