Hackney Rugby Club hammer Hendon
East Londoners ease to a win in north London
Herts/Middlesex Division One
Hendon 13 Hackney 44
Another day and another bonus point victory for Hackney who ran riot at north London neighbours Hendon.
The first half began quickly as Hendon used the slope of the pitch to reclaim their kick-off, and put Hackney under pressure. Twice they appeared to have scored a try before finally breaching the defence to go into a 7-0 lead.
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Four minutes later after some good work by the forwards, Hackney earned a penalty 30 yards out which was dispatched by James Hardwick without an issue.
After survivng Hendon pressure, Hackney ventured into the opposition half, and came away with another Hardwick penalty.
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The good work was undone virtually immediately as a penalty on the half way line was advanced due to dissent making it eminently kickable leaving the score 10-6.
Alex O’Hara used what little ball he had to pin Hendon back with a series of kicks that were chased brilliantly by the wingers.
A piece of good fortune was in order for the first Hackney try of the day - an awkward tackle on O’Hara meant the ball spilled backwards allowing Hardwick to hack through and dive over the line before converting his own try.
Again Hendon picked up their own restart, and piled on the pressure which Hackney looked capable of dealing with, until another show of dissent brought a penalty again within kicking range.
It looked to be the final score of the half until Ben Chamberlain found space in a crowded midfield to burst through, dotting down his fourth try of the season.
Hardwick had no trouble with the conversion. 20-13 to Hackney at the break.
Hackney again used the opening five minutes of the second half to close out the match - a Hardwick penalty was followed quickly by a brilliant break down the left by James Rowbottom who drew the cover defence and fed Curtis Hobday for his first try at first team level, leaping in under the posts to make the conversion a formality.
The match became rather disjointed as the referee took exception to Hackney’s rucking, but the defence was outstanding once again with the tedium broken by Andy Pilkington grabbing a try as a reward for a man of the match performance in the tight.
The scoring was completed by Dan Aylward who raced away on his return to the Hackney team after a sumptuous break by O’Hara, who’s made a habit out of the show and go. Hardwick completed a perfect afternoon with the boot for his second successive 100% kicking game.
The game finished on a disappointing note as a Hendon player broke his leg with play bought to a close five minutes early in order to wait for an ambulance.
The win sees Hackney up into third position facing a trip to the glamour team of the league, leaders HAC next week before a three week break over the holidays.
Hackney: Beno, C.Davis (c), Pilkington, Hart, Crocket, McMahon, Walsh, Chamberlain, Rooke, O’Hara, J.Davis, Dawson, Rowbottom, Hobday, Hardwick. Subs: Bobin, Cunningham, Aylward.