Old Streetonians thwarted by league leaders Belsize Park

Old Streetonians' try-scorer Rich Hadfield. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Old Streetonians' try-scorer Rich Hadfield. Pic: Paolo Minoli - Credit: Archant

Old Streetonians endured a frustrating weekend after a creditable 24-10 defeat at table-topping Belsize Park that could – and should – have been so much more.

The Onians failed to capitalise on an uncharacteristic bright start – hammering away at the opposition line only to find themselves 7-0 down when a lucky bounce from a Belsize breakaway allowed Will Allen to go under the posts.

Both sides exchanged tries before half-time, with Rob Joy superbly gathering a bouncing ball to touch down for Old Street.

But after a sluggish start to the second half they conceded a third try to Matt Abbott and were staring down the barrel.

The away side impressively turned things round, piling pressure on Belsize who eventually had David Boyle sin-binned for going off his feet at the breakdown, and made the extra man count as Rich Hadfield handed his way off to the line.

However, two disallowed tries prevented the Onians from deservedly levelling things up, and a late interception allowed Belsize to race upfield and score an all-important bonus-point try through Rob Hooper.

Next up is a very winnable game at home to Wasps as Old Street try and pick themselves up from the bottom of the table, having won just one of their first six games.

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The second XV were at home to London New Zealand and, like the first team, they got off to a great start but were unable to convert it into points.

The away side then put several phases together and crashed over in midfield, soon doubling their lead with a neat move out wide.

But Old Street fought back in the second half, with full-back Michael Lillis intercepting and chipping the ball ahead for Martin Fisher to score his second try in two games.

Another counter-attack enabled Street to score again through Joe Salmon, although that only prompted London NZ to step up their game and reply with three scores of their own as they ran out 31-12 winners.

Old Street’s third XV played a friendly against local rivals Hackney after league opponents British Airways failed to travel.

Streetonians edged ahead after an early try from debutant Hugh Orton and a rare drop goal from fly-half Josh Richardson.

But, after slipping off too many tackles in the second half, a limited but organised Hackney team pulled clear and, despite a late try by centre Alain Tolhurst, the home team went down to a 26-15 defeat.