Hackney back to winning ways as they stroll past Old Actonians
Griffins slip to third place in the league
Hackney recovered from their defeat of two week’s ago last weekend as they returned to winning ways with victory against Old Actonians.
The Griffins took to the field with few key names back in the line up, along with a debutant in Lawrence Mills at flanker, having proven his talent with the Gargolyes.
The opening salvo saw Hackney on top, as big hits rained in from everywhere and the best laid plans of the opposition were soon rethought.
The Griffins saw an opening at lineout time and set about taking full advantage, kicking for territory and pressuring the incoming ball.
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The first score of the game came from such pressure. After disrupting the opposition lineout, Actonians could only clear as far as their own 22.
Recently back from injury, hooker Will Bowers hit his man perfectly, setting up a maul.
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Prop Newton Mills then timed his peel off the back to perfection, charging through two defenders to open the scoring.
From the restart, Hackney continued were they left off. Despite finding a big contest at the scrum, Hackney’s forwards continued to dominate every breakdown, allowing quick phase ball.
Some crisp handling from both forwards and backs led to the Griffins’ second try, as a slick interchange saw Ben Chamberlain crash over in the corner to make it 10-0.
The rest of the half broke down into somewhat of a wrestling match as Old Actonians started to edge their way back into the game.
An exchange of penalties meant that Hackney retained their 10-point advantage into half time.
The second half began as the other had ended, the arm wrestle continued, but now with the wind at their backs the Griffins had the advantage they needed to widen the gap in the points.
After a few penalty attempts, James Hardwick hit his mark and pushed the Griffins’ lead out to 13.
Actonians then threatened to breach the Hackney line only to see ball end up over their own.
Great defensive work led to a turnover near Hackney’s line, scrum half Fanning spotted an opening and released the electric Charlie Williams down the wing.
Williams then offloaded to Mills, who then found Fanning. Quick hands and some beautifully cut lines left substitute James Rowbottom with a 20-yard dash for the line which he chewed up easily.
Old Actonians then pushed for a consolation score, but Hackney had other ideas.
With the referee having called last play, the Griffins turned the ball over on their own try line and Fanning shipped the ball to captain Alex O’Hara.
The skipper then found James Dawson, who took contact bravely retaining the ball.
Rowbottom and Chamberlain interchanged and the flanker sprinted the length of the pitch before being hauled down just short of the Old Actonians line.
The visitors had no option but to give away a penalty, which Fanning took quickly, leaving Bowers with five yards and one man to beat, which he did, with the powerful help of Mills.
Hackney: Hardwick, Davis, Williams, Duttine, Williams, O’Hara (c), Fanning; Mills, Bowers, Pilkington, Hart, Crocket, Mills, Chamberlain, Prouse. Subs: Beno, Dawson, Rowbottom.