Hackney beat Upminster to complete hat-trick of wins

Hackney win a lineout against Upminster. Pic: Alex Fisher

Hackney win a lineout against Upminster. Pic: Alex Fisher - Credit: Archant

Hackney RFC made it three wins from three after a disciplined 17-6 victory at Upminster in the RFU Senior Vase maintained the Griffins’ impressive early-season form.

Ben Chamberlain and Laurence Mills were both sent to the sin-bin in the second half but Hackney RFC held on with 13 men before Andy Pilkington secured an authoritative win against a side from the division above in the Essex league.

Hackney made a promising start and their endeavour was rewarded early on when an attacking line-out on the five-metre line allowed James Legg to drive over and dab the ball down across the whitewash.

Upminster replied with a penalty, before the dominant Hackney forwards again applied pressure to the home side, resulting in Chamberlain crossing the line, before indiscipline led to the concession of another penalty to leave it 10-6 at the break.

Aided by the sloping of the pitch after the restart, it was Upminster who put the Griffins under pressure this time and worse was yet to follow.

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First, Chamberlain was yellow- carded for obstruction and Mills then repeated the same offence in the next play to ensure they both had company in the sin-bin as Hackney were reduced to 13 men.

But the remaining six defenders held out to deny the hosts any points in an admirable rearguard action – and it got better, as with 15 minutes left, Ed Clarke put Andy Pilkington through to score and seal the win.

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The Griffins return to league action on Saturday in London North-West Division Three, visiting Belsize Park for a grudge match against last season’s promotion rivals.

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