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Under 18s 8 v 17 Westcliff (Cup semi) - Away Cup Draw on 29 Mar 2015

Published on Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Hitchin’s u18 academy side travelled to Westcliff Rugby Club in Southend on Sunday to determine who would face  Bishop Stortford in the LV Final to be held at Hitchin RFC, King George V playing fields, write Dan Wiggins.

The gusty wind and persistent rain would dictate how the game was played with very little kicking.  Both teams attacked the opening exchanges in a race to gain a significant advantage on the scoreboard. Hitchin were playing with the wind and looked to a half time lead.  Heightened pressure was put on the young Hitchin side as they started the game with the knowledge that they were the only Hitchin team to ever reach the semi-final stage of the LV Cup.

Hitchin scored the first points with a try from winger Peter Stanbury.  An unsuccessful conversion attempt from scrum-half Daniel Wiggins left the score at 0-5. In a desperate effort to halt any momentum, Westcliff unleashed a relentless attack on the Hitchin try line minutes after. Hitchin would be happy to concede only three points after the attack, however in difficult conditions for kicking, the attempt went wide. The Hedgehogs took advantage of the slight slope of the pitch and playing with a severe crosswind, earned a penalty in front of the sticks where Daniel Wiggins found the target on this occasion. In a repeat of their riposte from Hitchin’s first try, Westcliffe managed to narrow the deficit with an unconverted try.

The second half would bring more thunderous tackles from the likes of lock Brandon Whates and centre Simon Taylor as the pressure mounted. Possibly the best sequence of play that Hitchin had played all season, saw them rumble with a fifteen man effort from their twenty-two, to the Westcliff 22. The muddy conditions made this an enormous effort until one ruck handed possession to a Westcliff winger who kicked ahead and scored a breakaway try putting the home side two points ahead. The final minutes of the match were nail biting and the Hitchin team were as determined as ever to snatch the win on foreign soil. Despite the Hedgehogs best efforts, Westcliff found the smallest of gaps in a rock solid defence. The try would be converted from out wide leaving a final score of 17-8 to Westcliff.

The Hitchin Academy u18 side showed great character playing with spirit and flair until the final whistle.  It was a real team performance with all 15 players working hard and playing for each other.  Adding to this, being the only Hitchin side to reach a semi-final of the LV Cup, the day was a great one even in defeat.

The final of the LV Cup will be played at the King George V playing fields between Westcliff and Bishop Stortford on April 26th.  

Team Ellis Lockyer, Peter Stanbury, Oliver Pomfret, Daniel Grainger, Brandon Whates, Calum Dow, William Smith, Joshua Stallard, Daniel Wiggins, Harry Cartwright, Hem Johal, Simon Taylor, Jake Brooker, Ruiri Shanahan

Subs Daniel Barnes, Jim Panter

Scores T: Peter Stanbury (1) P: Daniel Wiggins (1)



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Hitchin Rugby Limited, King George V Playing Fields, Old Hale Way, Hitchin, Hertfordshire SG5 1XL England, Charity No. 1159772
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