Streets pay the penalty against Hampstead

London Two North East: Old Streetonians 10 Hampstead 34

It may be a new year, but it was not a new start for Old Streetonians, who slipped to their 11th defeat of the season last Saturday, this time at home to Hampstead.

Not for the first time this season, the home side started brightly against the higher-placed opposition, but could not convert their pressure into much-needed points and ended up paying the price later on in the game.

Hampstead travelled to Hackney sitting in fourth place in the London Two North East table, despite having 10 points deducted for fielding unregistered players.

However it was second-from-bottom Old Streets that started the better, dominating the first half an hour of the game.

With the penalty count firmly in their favour, the hosts took the lead through the boot of Tom Downey, who converted when the visitors were caught offside.

However, three further penalties in the Hampstead 22 failed to produce any points for Old Streets, who were left to rue their decision to kick into touch for a lineout, rather than take a shot at the posts.

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After weathering the storm, Hampstead drew level with a penalty of their own before Old Streets scored the first try of the game against the run of play, when Mark Muir intercepted a wayward pass to put the home side 10-3 up at the break.

After the interval, Old Streets found themselves playing into the wind, and the visitors took advantage, to score two quick tries.

A missed conversion meant that the home side were still in the game at 10-15.

The rest of the half was fairly even, but Old Streets kicked away too much possession straight to Hampstead’s talented backs.

And, in the final 10 minutes, all the home side’s hard work took its toll, as the visitors ran in three tries against a tiring defence for a flattering final score.

This weekend, Streets travel to fourth-from bottom Saffron Walden, looking for their third win of the season.