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Under 18s 12 v 8 Fullerians RFC ( League & County Shield Final) - Away League on 19 Apr 2015

Published on Monday, 20 April 2015

The Hitchin Rugby Academy made of u18 and u17 players has won the 2015 Hertfordshire County Shield competition after their close fought match against Fullerians u18 of Watford writes Dan Wiggins.

The tempo of the match was to be set early by Fullerians as they pressed Hitchin hard back to their twenty two. An early turnover and dominant scrum meant Fullerians could almost regain possession at any Hitchin mistake. The mounting pressure forced Hitchin into a number of consecutive penalties; one of which resulted in a three point lead for the home side.

An impressive performance from full back Bailey Burton put Hitchin deep into the Fullerians half every time they cleared their lines. A surge from Bailey soon turned into quick ball and a score in the corner for winger Harry Cartwright. A similar score would follow from Favour Maduka increasing Hitchin’s margin. However the half was far from over and playing with the wind and a slight descent, Fullerians punished Hitchin again and a further succession of ill-discipline meant the referee sent Captain Ellis Lockyer to the sin bin for ten minutes. Momentum had certainly now swung in the way of the home Fullerian side but the now experienced Hitchin scramble defence held firm until half time, leaving the score at the break 3-12 to Hitchin.

The away team were certainly hopeful to turn the Fullerian side in the second half and make them work hard for territory. However Fullerians managed to maintain a river of pressure upon the Hitchin try line as well placed kicks and belief in their lineout forced Hitchin to defend hard once more. Hitchin would have their own small scurries into the Fullerians half but to be denied of any points rather swiftly. If one thing can be said about Hitchin Academy and the way they play, its fight. Hitchin do not give up on any play and their defence was proof of the determination and grit they display in games such as this. A ten minute spell of goal line defence from Hitchin meant that something had to give eventually however; the lone five points brought the score to 8-12. Hitchin now had a chance to score next to put the game away. With no time left on the clock, a kick downfield to an empty Fullarians half meant the chase was on to win possession. Hitchin “held them up” and the game was theirs. The final score 8-12 to an elated Hitchin team.

This was the fifth time this team had been in a county final with the previous four ending in dismay. The wait is finally over, but they have one last game of their season to go. A match this Sunday against Bishop Stortford in the LV cup final is one of momentous scale. This is the furthest any Hitchin team has got to in the LV cup and to be played at home for Hitchin, this game will be huge.

Team Ellis Lockyer, Peter Stanbury, Harry u18s Murphy, Daniel Grainger, Brandon Whates, Calum Dow, William Smith, Joshua Stallard, Daniel Wiggins, Harry Cartwright, Harry Murtagh-Edmundson, Simon Taylor, Ruiri Shanahan, Robert Austin, Bailey Burton

Subs Oliver Pomfret, Jake Brooker, Tom Fry, Daniel Barnes, Hem Johal, Lewis McCracken, Favour Maduka, Jim Panter

Scores T: Harry Cartwright (1), Favour Maduka (1) C: Peter Stanbury (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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