Hackney’s hunt for silverware continues with impressive vase win at Feltham
Middlesex Vase: Feltham 3 Hackney 48
Hackney progressed to the semi-finals of the Middlesex Vase, thanks to a high-scoring victory at lower-league Feltham on Saturday.
The Griffins made the trip across to Twickenham, and having successfully managed to negotiate their way through the English and Irish revelers en route to the Six Nations game between the two nations, a giant-killing could have been on the cards.
However, despite their problematic journey, the visitors started well, but couldn’t find the breakthrough against a resilient Feltham defence.
Hackney eventually broke the deadlock, when debutant Matt Hanton slotted a penalty, before the hosts scored one of their own to bring to scores to 3-3.
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Strong forward interplay from the likes of Charlie Davies, John Tully, Ben Chamberlain and Johnny Crocket then led to suspected knock-on that was missed by the referee.
With the Feltham players baffled, Chamberlain gathered the ball to run in from halfway for a converted try.
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Just before half time, Chamberlain was again involved, but this time to his side’s detriment as he was adjudged to have illegally brought down Feltham’s lineout jumper, and was subsequently shown a yellow card.
Griffins coach Ben Scanlan gathered his troops at the interval, knowing that his team would need to work extra hard for the first 10 minutes of the second half as they were down to 14 men.
And the visitors responded to their coach’s call, with the dominant pack stealing opposition ball at lineouts through Crocket.
It was from one of these lineouts that Hackney scored their second try, driving over for Tully to touch down.
With the Griffins back to their full complement of 15 players and with the home side tiring, Hackney began to turn the screw as Charles Bailey charged down an attempted box kick to dive on the ball and score the visitors’ third effort of the afternoon.
Scanlan rung the changes on the hour mark as Owain Hughes came on for Andy Pilkington and it wasn’t long before the Griffins had their fourth try, when Davies passed to James Rowbottom to score.
Hackney then added a fifth try when Rowbottom’s cross-field kick was gathered by Alex O’Hara, who then offloaded to Kim Fitzgerald to touch down.
The visitors then wrapped up the scoring with their sixth and final try, when Olly Hart and Will Bowers forced a turnover, and Davies picked up the loose ball to run in 60m to score.
Hackney return to league action this weekend, when they host Herts/Middlesex One leaders Wasps.
Hackney: Fitzgerald, Silverthorn, Rowbottom, O’Hara (c), Williams, Hanton, Davies; Pilkington, Bailey, Bobin, Hart, Crocket, Bowers, Chamberlain, Tully. Subs: Hughes, MacNally.