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1st XV - Match centre

Enfield Ignatians
Sat 10 Mar TBC - London & SE Division - London 2 North West Full time

Ignatians Blow Hot And Cold But At Least Land A Consolation Point - Jon Landi reports

Hackney 29: - Enfield Ignatians 22 London Two North-West: March 10

After jubilant January (two wins from three) and feeble February (two losses from two), ENFIELD IGNATIANS resumed their quest for survival in London Two North-West by battling hard to wrap up a losing bonus point in the 29-22 loss against Hackney at Spring Hill on Saturday (March 10). However they paid the price as two further injuries added to the long list.

Granted that 11th placed Harrow, the side hot on their heels, failed to deliver against Hemel Hempstead, Ignatians will be the more satisfied of the two sides, and they will now turn their attentions to the forthcoming home games against Chiswick and Belsize Park.

Coach Ali Cook said: "The side deserves credit for sticking at it for the full 80 minutes and getting something out of the game. However, I also feel that this was one {game} that got away and we didn't help ourselves by giving away some soft scores."

It was the worst of times and the best of times for Ignatians and Madcap March began poorly after the visitors leaked a try in the opening minutes, with first-up tackling their Achilles heel, after centre Sean Conner running a good line off his half-backs, fired the hosts in front.

Lady Luck certainly turned her back on Ignatians in the first period, who were forced to readjust following untimely injuries to Paul Duke (fly-half with broken wrist) and Ben Mills (hooker with knee damage). Coach Ali Cook then had recourse to his finishers, Frazer Briers and Harry Massini, far earlier than expected. On a positive note, Briers, a graduate of the Youth Academy system, energised Ignatians' play with some great carries and link-play and the upshot was that Ignatians won a penalty for off-side which captain Jake Bates nailed.

It was just the tonic Ignatians needed and they upped the ante and were perhaps a little unlucky after second row, Aaron James-Nicholls, had a try disallowed for a double movement. Approaching half-time, disaster struck again for Ignatians and, with their defence again found wanting, Hackney's open side flanker, Dave Akkersdyk, one of the game's defining presences, was given a free run to the line as the hosts secured a 12-3 half-time lead.

Ignatians were smarter out of the blocks in the second period and, within minutes, they opened up Hackney. Flanker stroke prop, Luke Stack, wasn't short of support and, although he was shackled yards from the line, he reacted immediately and barrelled his way over.
Bates added the extras but Hackney's lead, reduced to two points, was extended to seven after fly-half, Alex O'Hara, claimed the first of his two tries.

In a tough encounter played in cloying mud, Ignatians responded with a second try and a great break from centre, George Cox, sent alarm bells ringing in the Hackney defence. However, a clear overlap was squandered with the last Ignatians' attacker bundled into touch when inches short. Undaunted, Ignatians stole Hackney's defensive lineout and, after launching bodies forward, they
successfully stretched the hosts in two directions before banking right where prop, Ray Hayes, unmarked on the wing, forced his way over in the corner.

However, Ignatians defensive frailties were to be exposed twice more. They defended poorly from a penalty close to their line, and a unnecessary off-load close to their 22, respectively ushered in O'Hara's second, plus a further score from Jim Miller.

That Ignatians rescued something from the game was down to the sheer obstinacy of their forwards, who won a key turnover close to Hackney's 22. Successfully probing Hackney's left flank, they had the numbers and number eight Wes Warren successfully probed the blindside. Ignatians. with Man of Match Dave Gear (Pictured) in outstanding form, weren't home and hosed yet. Crucially, Bates held his nerve and his last gasp conversion wrapped a crucial losing bonus point which could yet prove vital in the survival stakes.

Bates said: "I'm gutted that we lost the game and, of the five tries we conceded, four were of the soft variety. However, we looked dangerous with the ball in hand and the spirit in the side was good. Although ideally, we would have liked to have come away with more."

Ignatians face Chiswick at home on Friday. The kick-off time of the floodlit game is 7.30pm.

TEAM Ray Hayes (70m William Bruce), Ben Mills (Frazer Briers 9), William Bruce (55m Ethan Renny), Liam Horn, Aaron James-Nicholls, Luke Stack (78 Ray Hayes), Dave Gear, Wes Warren, Jordan Wilson, Paul Duke (Harry Massini 9), Cairo Sango, Jake Bates, George Cox, Hadee Fayaz, Johnny Dixon.

Scorers: Tries: Luke Stack (43m), Ray Hayes (61m), Wes Warren (80)

Penalties: Jake Bates (9).

Conversions: Jake Bates (44m), (80m).

Man of the Match
Dave Gear (Pictured)

OMW Skills Series: Evasion

Team selection

Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.

League round up

Other London 2 North West results

Hammersmith & Fulham
London Nigerian


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League table

# Team Pl Pts
6. Hackney 18 46
7. London Nigerian 18 46
8. Hemel Hempstead 18 37
9. Hammersmith & Fulham 18 34
10. Enfield Ignatians 18 29
11. Harrow 18 23
12. Tabard 18 8

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