Will local team be the kings of Purley this weekend?
Hitchin Lacrosse Club HITCHIN showed no signs of a festive hangover as they started the New Year in winning fashion. The Lucas Lane club dispensed with Bath 19-5 in their opening match of 2007 – and that was despite missing three key players. American mid
Hitchin Lacrosse Club
HITCHIN showed no signs of a festive hangover as they started the New Year in winning fashion.
The Lucas Lane club dispensed with Bath 19-5 in their opening match of 2007 - and that was despite missing three key players.
American midfielder Ian Thomassen has now returned home having completed his spell with the club, while London-based duo Josh Grossman and James Bierman were both absent.
Both players return this Saturday as Steve McDermott's team face second-placed Purley but even without them last year's South of England League Premier Division winners were able to sparkle.
Eamon Thornton led the way with five goals, top scoring as the visitors won every quarter.
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Skipper McDermott netted four times and Peter Sylvester scored a hat-trick as Hitchin proved too hot to handle.
Rod Stamford and Travis Robb added doubles and Jim Mullaley, Eddie Howarth and Dan Scott were also on the target in a comprehensive victory.
"We had a slow start but we really got going in the third and fourth quarters to leave them no chance," said a delighted McDermott, whose side are now seven points clear at the summit, although Purley have two games in hand on the champions.
Hitchin won the first quarter 4-2 and shared the second quarter 1-1 for a 5-3 half-time scoreline. But the goals flew in after the break with McDermott's men winning the third quarter 6-1 and then the final quarter 8-1.
"It was a really good win for us," added McDermott.
"It's a long journey down to Bath and I think that we started slowly because of it. But our midfield played really well and it was good to see so many players on the scoresheet."
And looking ahead to Saturday's clash with fellow title chasers - and former league winners - Purley, McDermott admitted a win would make them favourites to win the domestic title, although defeat would "make the title race really close".
He said: "We've just got to win all of our games. There's no easy matches but we know if we can beat Purley then we'll give ourselves some breathing space at the top.
"We beat Purley at their place earlier in the season but they'll be coming to us and giving it everything. It's a big match in the context of the season.