Shaw touch sees Hedgehogs home
Hitchin 27 Old Verulamians 24 IT was tight but Hitchin returned to winning ways with league victory over rival Herts side Old Verulamians. A peculiar decision by the referee saw them gift a penalty try to the visitors early on without as much as a penalty
Hitchin 27 Old Verulamians 24
IT was tight but Hitchin returned to winning ways with league victory over rival Herts side Old Verulamians.
A peculiar decision by the referee saw them gift a penalty try to the visitors early on without as much as a penalty being awarded first. The try was converted easily.
Hitchin camped in the opposition half for the next five minutes where pressure on their backline saw vice-captain Jimmy Scott swoop in and run 30 yards before putting flying winger Ritchie Sinclair in the corner for the first of Hitchin's four tries.
The visitors came storming back, capitalising on some poor discipline and Hitchin tackling to score two quick tries, one of which was converted. The other, scored under the posts, was charged down by Sinclair, once again demonstrating his sheer pace.
OVs now held a commanding 19-5 lead before Hitchin knuckled down.
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With some constructive forward drives up the field, the backline were once again in action with the Scott/Sinclair combination teaming up again to score Sinclair's second. Paul Howard added the extra two points from a difficult angle in his first game back since before Christmas.
The visitors led by seven points at the break but Hitchin started the new half strongly and following some early pressure earned themselves a kickable penalty, Howard duly obliging.
From the restart, Hitchin again used the pace advantage they had in the backs and broke down the left side of the field. A maul on the visitors' line saw Bradley Walters break through and dive over to see Hitchin lead for the first time.
Once again OVs broke down the blindside and saw their winger run in for a try with 15 minutes left on the clock. This try went unconverted.
Stern words from captain Aidan Barnett galvanised his troops and clever interplay involving both backs and forwards saw Adam Shaw break through the last line of defence to score under the posts. He also added the conversion.
The game was not finished though as OVs set up camp on the Hitchin line with seven consecutive scrums.
Fantastic defence by all 15 Hitchin players on the park saw OVs denied a victory at the death.
Hitchin coach Mick Carey said: "All 18 guys have to be praised for their performance out there and they all played their part.
"It wasn't pretty but it's a win and that's all that matters at the moment.
"I'm proud of the boys and how they dug in at the end.
"We can build on this now and take it forward to our next league game against Cheshunt on February 11 - we've still got everything to play for this season."
Carey added: "New lock Will Macalpine had a solid debut and is a name to watch for the future.