Sam Underwood touches down
After two recent league defeats –both away from home –this was an opportunity for the team to get back to winning ways with a home fixture against a Cheshunt side sitting just above them in the table
Cheshunt kicked off with the breeze in their favour, However, Hitchin were their usual generous hosts, allowing the visitors to score within 6 minutes . After a rare visit (this half) to the Cheshunt 22, play came back to mid-field where the visitors broke through the first line of defence to move the ball quickly and score in the corner to take a 5 point lead
A few minutes later a penalty against Hitchin resulted in a lineout 5 metres from their line,from which the Cheshunt forwards gamed possession & pushed over for a converted try.
The visitors were playing most the rugby in the Hitchin half, and got their reward after 27 minutes crossing over in the corner for a converted try, to take a 19 point lead
The Hitchin forwards now started to take control, lead by the example of skipper James Bolter, and back in the Cheshunt 22 , from a quickly taken penalty , Sean McGinnity crashed over for a try, converted by Adam Shaw.
With ten minutes to go before half time fly half Shaw went over to reduce the deficit to 12-19 but was unable to convert.
The second half was barely underway when the Hitchin pack mauled their way to the line, for Sam Underwood to touch down close to the posts for Shaw to convert, and the sore was equal
The home side continued to press the Cheshunt line, but failed to add to the scoreline, before giving away a penalty
After 15 minutes they attacked again from midfield, setting up Aiken Verschuur on a run whose off load to Matt Houlden just failed to produce a try, Houlden injured in the attempt
McGinnity was held up over the line but from the scrum Underwood offloaded to player of the match Bolter, who got the fourth try and a bonus point.
The Hitchin pack was now gaining ground at each encounter, and five minutes later, back again in the visitors 22, prop Stuart West took a short pass from fellow prop McGinnity to run in from all of two metres for seven points. Minutes later with the pack again taking control, West ran in for a second try from at least 5 metres, this time unconverted.
As the game was about to go into injury time Cheshunt came back strongly and severely tested the Hitchin defence, until Ritchie Sinclair saw his opportunity and intercepted a pass, to run the length of the pitch to score under the posts, the try duly converted by Shaw to make the final score Hitchin 43 Cheshunt 19.
After a shaky start, this was an excellent win for the Hedgehogs, lifting them back to sixth place in the league table
Next week Hitchin host Farnham RFC- leaders of the London South West division - in the semi-final of the London & SE Divisional Cup
Sean McGinnity, Joshua Page, Barry Mellor, Ryan Arbon, Philip Hobbs, Thomas Tidey, Samuel Underwood, James Bolter, Elliot Gibson, Adam Shaw, Matthew Houlden, Vincent Kevans, Richard Sinclair, Ryan Godfrey, Aiken Verschuur
Stuart West, Anthony Williams, Daniel Bendon
Stuart West (2), Sean McGinnity (1), Adam Shaw (1), Samuel Underwood (1), Richard Sinclair (1), James Bolter (1) C:
Adam Shaw (4)
Player(s) of Match
1. James Bolter The league: London North West 3