Injury-hit Hackney are beaten by rivals Belsize Park

Hackney's Andy Sprague in action

Hackney's Andy Sprague in action - Credit: Archant

Beset by injuries, Hackney slipped to their second defeat since promotion as they went down 39-20 against last season’s title rivals Belsize Park.

Hackney struggled to impose themselves throughout the game and despite scoring the first try, a dominant middle period for Park condemned the visitors to defeat as they slipped to sixth in the league table.

Glenn Prowse opened the scoring with a converted try inside the first five minutes for Hackney, but Park responded with two tries of their own to reverse the score at 14-17.

Two penalties from Andy Sprague brought Hackney back into the game, before both sides scored a try apiece.

Park then stretched their legs as they extended their total to a dominant 39, before Richard Yong crossed the whitewash to close the gap to 14 points.

“It was a pretty close game,” said Hackney captain Will Bowers. “We had about five players who were out and we lacked a little bit of composure, I would say.

“There was a moment in the game where it was 18-20 and we had a good chance to score and go into the lead, but we just fluffed our lines rather, it led to a big turnaround for them and they got their confidence back.”

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Hackney have settled into life in the eighth tier with a level of assurance, but ahead of the visit of Wasps on Saturday, Bowers insists that their league position could be even better.

He added: “The thing that’s annoying me at the moment is knowing that with full availability it probably would be four wins from four.”

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