Hackney beaten by Belzise Park despite treble from Chamberlain
PUBLISHED: 16:40 23 January 2015 | UPDATED: 16:46 23 January 2015
A hat-trick of tries from Ben Chamberlain wasn’t enough to prevent Hackney losing to Belsize Park for a second time this season at a boggy Hackney Marshes.
Three first-half tries seemed to have created an unassailable lead for Belsize at the break, but a gutsy second period from the Griffins meant the title-chasing visitors were made to hold on for the win.
The wet conditions did little to dampen Belsize’s attacking ambitions in the early stages, and Hackney were forced into a series of misdemeanours which led to a contentious penalty try being awarded for the side still unbeaten in 2015.
Hackney, riled by a sense of injustice, began to play smart rugby and a perfectively executed driving maul from their forwards enabled Chamberlain to open his account on the overlap.
Belsize then capitalised on wayward kicking to retake the lead, and the Griffins were desperate for the half-time bell when their defence was breached again following another incessant Belsize attack.
Trailing 21-5 at the break, the Griffins sought to take the game to Belsize and, following excellent ball distribution from scrum-half Charles O’Halloran, another driving maul led to Chamberlain carrying the ball over from 10 yards out.
Aided by basic handling errors, Chamberlain then scored his third try to move Hackney to within four points of the lead, but Belsize regained their composure to see out the game, as a sweetly struck 30-yard penalty extinguished any hopes Hackney had of completing the comeback.
The result leaves the Griffins still fifth in the table, ahead of the trip to face Wasps a week on Saturday.