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Under 14Bs v Old Albanians - Away Friendly on 11 Mar 2012

Published on Thursday, 15 March 2012

Old Albanians U14 14 vs Hitchin U14 ‘B’ 20 (Friendly)

Team: Maitiu, OJ, Dan B, Huw, Charlie, Jack F, Ashley G, George E, Bradley, Sam R, Ashley W, Matthew, Connor, Zac, Will J

Subs: Jamie, Joe, Taylor, Luke

Tries: George, Joe, Taylor, Ashley

Conversions: none

A bright sunny Sunday morning saw Hitchin U14 ‘B’ play a friendly away at Old Albanians. The match saw the welcome addition of a few A team players to the squad to compensate for the missing regulars that had been moved up to the plate team at Tabard and proved to be one of two decidedly different halves.

The hosts started strongly and attacked from the outset and were rewarded within the first five minutes with an early try as Hitchin failed to get in any kind of tackling which allowed an OA’s player through to score under the posts with relative ease. The converted kick saw go Hitchin 7-0 down and this was quickly followed by excellent attacking play from the hosts as they passed the ball at speed through their back line to great effect. Hitchin tried to respond when Bradley broke down the touchline before being held up and this was quickly followed by good runs by Huw and Sam. However despite this OA’s managed to turn the ball over and ran the ball back into the Hitchin half at speed once again. Hitchin’s tackling had marginally improved by this stage but despite this the hosts were quickly able to increase their lead following a penalty conceded just in front of the posts and move ahead 14-0.

At this stage Hitchin seemed to be hanging on and more bad news was soon to befall them when a bad injury forced Bradley to leave the field with a dislocated shoulder, with Jamie stepping up off the bench to slot in at scrum half. Strangely this break in play seemed to help Hitchin to regroup as they embarked upon a good spell of pressure in the opposing half of the pitch, with Sam and Zac catching the eye with some great attacking play. This was quickly followed by a storming run by George which nearly saw him go over in the corner before being forced out by an excellent OA’s tackle. Hitchin then continued to keep the pressure on as they remained camped in the OA’s half with Maitiu this time almost getting the first points on the board for Hitchin following a great piercing run by Matthew.

As the half drew to a close OA’s finally managed to clear their lines and were able to counterattack before conceding a penalty which gave Hitchin the chance to come back at them. They were unable to force the score before the half time whistle though as the half ended in controversial circumstances with Dan B getting a yellow card for kicking out at an opponent.

As the second half began Hitchin responded to the ten minute one man disadvantage in exactly the right way and quickly moved the ball into a dangerous position near the OA’s try line. This was soon rewarded when a quick penalty taken by Matthew saw the ball find its way over to George who found a gap to go over in the corner to reduce the deficit to 14-5. Immediately from the restart a dynamic run by Zac saw Hitchin back in the OA’s half and looking dangerous as George then carried the ball further before finally releasing Joe who completed the move with a well taken try which took the score to 14-10.

Hitchin were now in full flow as Will, Luke Matthew and Joe all made great runs and a fine kick by Sam was chased superbly by Matthew to cause chaos in the OA’s defence and force a scrum. Hitchin continued to press and came close to scoring again, this time from a charge down. It was now OA’s turn to counter attack but a strong tackle by Luke managed to hold up the move and allowed Matthew to steal the ball back and force the ball back into the hosts half. A series of penalties then followed before Ashley collected the ball and steamed towards the corner before cutting inside and passing to Taylor who finished the move to score Hitchin’s third try and moving them in to the lead for the first time in the match.14-15.

Having finally taken the lead Hitchin then had to defend as OA’s came back at them in search of a reply but they managed to soak up the pressure and eventually moved the ball out of their own half. Following a well won scrum from a penalty possibly the best Hitchin move of the game happened as good runs and layoffs by Matthew, Zac and Taylor in turn saw the ball find Luke whose great looping pass to Ashley allowed the winger to motor into the corner and finally put the game out of reach of the hosts to secure Hitchin a very well won 14-20 victory.  

Man of the Match: Zac

Honourable mentions to: Everyone else – a real team effort from everyone which was rewarded with a great winning second half performance




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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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