Hard-working Hackney hold off Barnet to strengthen promotion push
PUBLISHED: 16:21 19 March 2014 | UPDATED: 16:21 19 March 2014
Hackney chalked up their 15th consecutive win of the season with a battling performance to win 20-13 at Barnet Elizabethans and maintain their push for promotion.
Despite missing a number of key players and trailing by 10 points in the first half, Hackney had Alex O’Hara to thank for bagging a try, two conversions and two penalties to maintain his side’s pressure on league leaders Belsize Park.
It was Barnet who took the lead with a penalty kick, but strong running from Iso Dallarmi, John Tully and Matt Strong brought Hackney back into the contest and O’Hara soon levelled the scores with his first penalty.
Barnet responded and went on the offensive as they spread the ball wide and stretched the Hackney defence, before a well-placed chip over the top allowed the hosts to jog under the posts and register the first try, which was duly converted.
Hackney were forced onto the back foot as they repelled the Barnet attack, with Alex Bobin, Mike Ward and James Legg providing a defensive shield, but they could do little to prevent a penalty extending their hosts’ lead to 13-3.
Matt Strong’s charging run across the halfway line for Hackney relieved the pressure and found O’Hara, who charged over the whitewash for his side’s first try before adding the extras to reduce the deficit to 13-10 at the break.
After the restart Hackney began to assert themselves, as Bobin smashed through Barnet’s defensive line to touch down in the corner – and O’Hara again converted to give Hackney the lead for the first time.
O’Hara then kicked his second penalty of the game in the closing stages to ensure Hackney’s impressive run of form continued, ahead of this weekend’s trip to bottom-placed Imperial Medical.