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1st XV 20 v 23 Verulamians RFC - Home League on 4 Nov 2017

Published on Monday, 6 November 2017

This clash between the top and bottom sides of the league produced a great game of rugby, with Hitchin never behind on points until the 75th minute. Scoring three tries to Verulamians’ two, penalties accounted for the end result.

Hitchin started well and put together some good attacking phases, and had a try disallowed due to a knock on. They continued to put pressure
 on the Verulamians’ line, until V’s were awarded a scrum on 5 m and cleared play to halfway

10 minutes into the game, Hitchin’s player of the match Rhys Gregory  broke away on the left flank to run in a try, converted by  Ben Wiggins against the wind

As the first quarter of the match drew to a close Hitchin , enjoying most of the territory, won a lineout 10m from the goal line, which led  to a second try from flanker Joe Barnes, this time unconverted

The visitors came back strongly, but Hitchin’s defence held out, although once again giving away too many

penalties at the  breakdowns.

Hitchin were given a yellow card on 26 minutes but they managed to keep their defence secure with a man  

short, and after 35 minutes a promising Hitchin attack broke down in the V’s 22 and play returned to halfway. The 12 point lead had looked safe, but the outstanding V’s fly half broke down the right flank, and a lack of concentration allowed him to run in under the posts to make the conversion a certainty Halftime 12 -7


With Hitchin kicking of the second half, it was V’s who upped their game , keeping more of the possession, and after 10 minutes running from deep in their own half, were awarded penalty to reduce the margin to just two points, the ball bouncing in off the post

But from the kickoff Hitchin got back into V’s 22 and themselves awarded a penalty, found touch near the V’s line. From the resulting lineout they drove to the goal line, Tony Williams being credited with a try as the maul collapsed on the line. Although the conversion failed, a 7 point lead was restored   at 17-10


But  after  30 minutes V’s came back with a break through the middle to score under the posts to draw level


A tussle on the touchline as V’s launched  an attack in their own half, resulted in  the referee issuing a yellow card to V’s and , questionably, two yellow cards to Hitchin


5 minutes later V’s  converted a penalty from 20 m to take the lead for the first time in the match .


Hitchin found themselves being penalised too often , possibly unfairly on at least one occasion, but it was they who benefited from a penalty, converted by Alfie  Burkett from 28m, to draw level again at 20 -20


As the game drew to a close, with Verulamians  putting together several attacking  moves , another penalty was conceded to give them a last minute  victory  by the 3 points


This was possibly the the Hedgehogs’ best performance

of thre season ,and certainly a  huge improvement ,after the game at St Albans the previous week.

Team Sean McGinnity, Thomas Tidey, James Akrill, Ryan Arbon, Max Stallard, Anthony Williams, Joe Barnes, James Bolter, Rhys Gregory, Ben Wiggins, Charles Wood-Jones, Carwyn Morgan, Alfie Burkett, Jake Ware, Elliot Gibson

Subs Harry Elleston, Samuel Underwood, Ross Merrilees, Adam Shaw, Mark Tidey, Mark Hoffman

Scores T: Joe Barnes (1), Rhys Gregory (1), Anthony Williams (1) C: Ben Wiggins (1) P: Alfie Burkett (1)

Player(s) of Match 1. Rhys Gregory, 2. Thomas Tidey, 3. Ben WigginsLondon North West 3 The league: London North West 3



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Hitchin Rugby Limited, King George V Playing Fields, Old Hale Way, Hitchin, Hertfordshire SG5 1XL England, Charity No. 1159772
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