Hackney being season with bonus-point win at Hendon

Tries from Henry Williams, Charlie Williams, Dan Alyward, James Rowbottom and John Tully enough for 33-0 victory

Hackney began their Herts/Middlesex One campaign in style with a bonus-point win away to Hendon last weekend.

Having beaten opposition in higher leagues in their pre-season fixtures, confidence was high within the Hackney camp and the team knew that they would have to set down a bench mark for the season.

However, with the Hendon slope and a fierce wind against the visitors, the first half started with a slow grind of a pace, with both sides not making any ground and play being firmly camped in the middle of the pitch.

Hackney’s backs had a fantastic defensive spell with no yards being given to their ever-tiring Hendon counterparts, and this defensive dominance was also matched by the forwards who continued throughout the first half to match the hosts’ pack.

However, Hendon continued to match Hackney’s defensive play throughout the first 40 minutes, and even when Dan Aylward crossed the tryline, the hosts managed to get a hand under the ball to hold it up and keep the score at 0-0 going into the interval.

As the second half began, it was clear that the hard-fought first 40 minutes had taken their toll on Hendon’s fitness and five minutes after the break, Hackney took advantage of an overlap to score through Henry Williams.

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This early try laid down a marker for the opening stages of the second half as the visitors soon scored another two tries through Charlie Williams and Dan Alyward thanks to good work from the Hackney pack.

Captain Alex O’Hara converted both tries, giving his side a 19-0 lead.

However, the hosts refused to give up and Hendon continued to battle on, putting pressure on Hackney in rucks and mauls.

The visitors managed to ride out the storm of Hendon attacks and punished the hosts for their lack of discipline around the breakdown.

Hackney then showed their strength and fitness with a series of attacks that pushed the hosts’ defence backwards.

With the Hackney pack drawing Hendon players into rucks and mauls, holes started to appear and with the home side stretched, James Rowbottom crossed the line from an excellent move by the backs for the visitors’ fourth try of the afternoon, which was followed by another O’Hara conversion to put the side 26-0 up

As the game entered the latter stages and with just seconds on the clock, Hackney struck once again for the all-important bonus-point try.

The visiting pack showed their strength and pushed their counterparts backwards, before excellent runs from Ben Chamberlain and Lloyd William-Jones gained plenty of yards.

With Hackney just five metres short, the pack drove a rolling maul over the line for John Tully to claim his first try of the season.

O’Hara then added the extras to help Hackney claim a 33-0 win to secure second place in the league .

This weekend, Hackney play their first home game of the season, when they welcome Old Ashmoleans, who were relegated from London Three North West last season.

Hackney: Lloyd William-Jone,Dom Beno, Andrew Pilkington, Ollie Hart, Jonny Crocket, John Tully, Ben Chamberlain, Glen Prowse, Neil, Alex O’Hara, Charlie Williams, Dan Aylward, James Rowbottom, Henry Williams, James Dawson. Subs: Newton Mills, Alex Bobin, Tim Cox.

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