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Colts v Bishops Stortford RFC - Home Cup Draw on 18 Mar 2012

Published on Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Hitchin Colts booked their place in the County Cup Final at the weekend with a hard fought victory over Bishops Stortford Colts. Beaten earlier in the season by Stortford in the National Cup it was Hitchin who secured the win 24 – 19 with an impressively courageous performance.

The game plan was to start fast and hard and this is just what the boys did. From the kick off the rush defence extracted several errors from Stortford which lead to a couple of early penalties. Both taken quickly by Heine, Hitchin continued to keep the pressure on Stortford. From the tap Heine found a forward. Some say he has the largest toe nail collection in Bedfordshire and that he once spent a whole week perched in a neighbour’s eucalyptus tree trying to shift a stubborn cold, all we know is, he is the Doogie and fresh from a relaxing week in Tenerife he bashed his way up the left touch line (apparently he bashed himself a lot last week also), set some good quick ruck ball which allowed Heine to feed Tom A on a short ball. Tom punched his way through the Stortford defence and set off for the try line. As he was tackled he off-loaded to the rampaging, ‘I am glad Italian Tom is not here to gloat’, Baird, who scored with a fantastic supporting run.

Apparently Callum got the conversion.                                                          7 – 0

From the restart Stortford were on the offensive. They worked up the middle of the park using their well drilled and strong pack,’ chaos, chaos’  was the call but this more accurately described the passing in their backs as the boys pressed and pressed and tackled relentlessly to repel several phases of attack. The defence won the battle and Stortford conceded a penalty on Hitchin’s tryline for not releasing. Callum cleared to the 22. From the line out and subsequent phases Hitchin were awarded a further penalty taking play into the Stortford half. Hitchin mauled really well and then released the ball. Callum T, obviously feeling extremely liberated from not playing hooker, took the ball at pace and seared like a searing thing over the Stortford 10m line, he stepped not one, but 2 defenders and then faced the full back. A shimmy and a step later and he too was on his arse as The Doc charged into the 22 where he was eventually tackled. Quick ball from the ensuing ruck and Heine passed to Callum M. The Stortford defence were up quickly and Callum straightened, found a half gap and accelerated through to score under the posts. The conversion was successful.                                                                    14 – 0

Still the boys kept up the pressure, hounding their 8, 9 and 10 and forcing them back. The ball was secured from a turnover and Hitchin cleared from their own 22 up to the Stortford 10m line. A penalty was conceded by Stortford in midfield and Callum took the ponts, just!                               17 – 0

The last 10mins of the first half saw a change in momentum and Stortford dominated possession and began to put more phases together. A midfield move put them into the Hitchin 22 and the try line was under siege once more. Defenders were sucked in and Stortford span the ball out wide with a significant overlap, but the final unnecessary pass to the winger allowed Billy Whizz to get across and make a try saving tackle and force the winger into touch as he was attempting to touch the ball down to score. A penalty to Hitchin for backchat allowed Callum to relieve the pressure, however Stortford were not done and again their forwards brought play back up into the Hitchin 22. The defence stood firm again and secured a turnover and then a penalty for a late tackle on Callum M. The Stortford 10 was given 10 with a yellow. But as so often happens the disadvantaged team pulled together and put their full-back through on a midfield move to score under the posts. Half time.                                                                                                           17 – 7

The second half started as the first had finished with Stortford maintaining possession, gaining territory and Hitchin doing all the defending. Rather inevitably  a series of pick and drive phases eventually led to a second Stortford try.                                              17 – 12

This pattern continued after the restart with Hitchin struggling to get any decent ball as Stortford really began to get a grip on the game. Before long the Hitchin line was again under threat and for the second or third time the ref gave ‘held up’ as the Stortford pack crashed over. From the scrum Heine hassled the number 8 who knocked on and gave up the ball. Heine fed Joe who burst out of the 22 and headed for halfway with Billy on his outside, but couldn’t get the pass away. This sparked a mini revival of fortunes for Hitchin with some quick recycled ball, aggressive rucking and pressure on Stortford who conceded a couple of penalties allowing the boys to gain some valuable territory.

Jim made a couple of changes and swapped Charlie for Josh and Edgar for Zander.

Doogie juggled his way into the Stortford 22 and managed to off load to Callum T who dived for the line only to be deemed held up for Hitchin this time. The boys were spurred on from this and upped their defensive game again forcing errors as Stortford threatened once more. Billy even renewed his friendship with the Stortford outside centre and a few feisty exchanges followed but he didn’t get past Billy!

With about 15 mins left Stortford forced their way over the line to score and with the conversion took the lead for the first time in the match.             17 – 19

Stortford had now scored 19 unanswered points. The  exact details of the remaining 12 minutes are a bit scarce as your reporter spent the remainder of the game pacing the touchline unable to watch let alone write. At least there was a reasonable amount of time left for Hitchin to try and score again.

The Boys however maintained their resolute defence and composure and from a few scraps of possession forced their way into the Stortford half. With less than 10 minutes remaining, and the scrum creaking Heine fed Callum M who threaded a deft grubber kick through the Stortford midfield for Joe, Tom A and Billy to chase. As a call went out ‘taxi for the full-back’  Inspector gadget’s sticky hands gathered the ball and he crashed over to score.  Callum converted.        24 – 19

Now there was too long left to hang on it seemed. The remaining minutes lasted a lifetime and involved Stortford throwing everything at Hitchin but the Boys determination to not allow anyone through finally paid off as the ref blew full time.

What a cracking game, played by two well organised, skilful teams, well ref’d and kind of enjoyable I think.

MOM: Heine for being a proper pain in the arse weasel of a scrum half.

Best Hooker: Richard – another great game from the U17.

Best Team Manager: Terri, who had a wonderful time and said ‘I don’t know what Tilley keeps moaning about.’

Team: Josh, Richard, Chris, Doogie, Tom J, Adam, Stefan, Callum T, Heine, Callum M, Joe, Tom A, Zander, Kieren, Aaron, Scot, Edgar, Micheal.

Hitchin now look forward to the Club’s first ever Colts County Cup Final appearance on April 15th.

Hitchin Colts are also in action this weekend in the quarter final of the U18 LV= Cup where they play Harrow at King Georges.

Team Joshua Conley, Christie Gilmartin, Chris Thorpe, Joe Barnes, Tom Jeffries, Adam Baird, Stefan Brand, Callum Taylor, Heinrich Schlehmeyer, Callum McRobbie, Alexander Szanto, Thomas Attwell, Joe Horder, Billy Vernon-Hamilton, Kieran Caldwell

Subs Charlie Emmerson, Scott Fulton-Brown, Aaron Fulton-Brown, Edward Roberts, Steven Merritt, Edgar Weaver, James Tilley, James King


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