Skipper still optimistic as Hedgehogs fight for lives
Hitchin 13 UCS Old Boys 16 Hitchin lost another tight contest but skipper Robbie Vivian remained upbeat. It was Hitchin s 11th league defeat in 14 games and sees them stay second from bottom in the London Four North West. Vivian said: We now have to work
Hitchin 13 UCS Old Boys 16
Hitchin lost another tight contest but skipper Robbie Vivian remained upbeat.
It was Hitchin's 11th league defeat in 14 games and sees them stay second from bottom in the London Four North West.
Vivian said: "We now have to work hard together to salvage some thing from a difficult season.
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"We have some outstanding individual players and the focus must now be on training and playing together.
"But at the same time having to rely on results elsewhere in the league if we are to avoid relegation."
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Hitchin hosted second in the table UCS Old Boys and managed to snatch late defeat from the jaws of victory.
In wet and muddy conditions, both teams set out to play an open game.
Points were soon on the board when home fly-half Dan Squire kicked a good penalty.
UCS Old Boys responded after there was action in both halves of the field as an infringement by a Hitchin forward resulted in a penalty kick which drew the visiting team level.
Outstanding performances by back rower Graham King and second rowers Simon Banner and Hadyn Perks tried to put the North London side on the back foot but another indiscretion provided an opportunity for UCS to go into the lead with a second penalty goal.
Then came an excellent drive by the forwards combined with slick passing which allowed the Hedgehogs to make ground.
With full-back Lee Sheldrake coming into the line, providing an overlap, he gave a final pass to wing James Bull which he took for a 30m run in for a fine try, converted by Squire.
This put Hitchin 10-6 in front at half time and they turned round with high hopes of a fine victory.
The second half was a stop/start affair with UCS scoring a third penalty goal to creep closer to the home side's score.
Hitchin's forwards were managing to hold their own in the tight and disrupt in the loose with the backs stopping their opposite numbers from making any ground.
Squire kicked a third penalty to give them a four-point cushion but the game turned on a piece of bad luck.
Hitchin's rampaging number eight Dale Baines stormed into the visitors with a good carry, knocking opposition players flying.
In doing so, a flailing knee dislodged the ball from his grasp allowing the visitors to counter attack.
With the home defenders trying desperately to switch quickly from attack to defence, gaps occurred and the UCS winger was able to score a try.
This was converted and the visitors held the lead until the final whistle.
The young Hedgehogs left the playing field with their heads held high but once again suffering a defeat they did not deserve.