“ VERULAMIANS RFC 22 pts --- HITCHIN RFC 5 pts
The strong ‘ Beast from the East ‘ wind added a harsh chill factor to the game at Cotlandswick, plus constant flurries of snow to make this game a vital one for Vees to win in order to maintain a chance to reach the second promotional position in LONDON NW 3. Hitchin RFC had made them struggle to a close victory earlier on this season with their large and weight superior forwards. And once again their game plan was evident from the kick – off.
However, playing into the elements and uphill, Vees proceeded to utilise the 50/50 possession with great effect and the drive injected by Tim Fretter, Darren Westhead, Daniel Barnes and player / coach Sam Perry caused Hitchin’s defence many a problem and it was, after a forward surge that Perry, 20 mtrs out dummied a defender and glided over for the first unconverted try. Immediately after the restart a successful rolling midfield maul presented centre Billy Sach with a gap which he darted through to make it 10 – 0. Vees were keeping warm in the bitter conditions by playing an expansive, running game which the weightier Hitchin pack could not match and on 30 mins Alex Ricci, always a threat with his jinxing runs, seized on an opportunity on the half – way line to accelerate and leave the opposition’s defence floundering to score under the posts. Gareth Waters gratefully accepted the easy conversion to make it 17 – 0 and then within 10 minutes Ben Fuller’s long strides split the Hitchin defence again and unselfishly slipped the ball inside to allow winger Jake Lawrence to speed over the line to make it an encouraging 22 – 0 half time position.
However, Hitchin had other things in mind and shortly after the re – start scored an unconverted try to make it 22 – 5. For the rest of the match they had huge territorial possession in Vees half and when Fretter, Daniel Barnes and Westhead were forced to retire through injury, Vees forwards knew that the writing was on the wall. But in adversity the whole team raised their game and tenaciously defended their line and kept the rampaging Hitchin surges at bay until the rewarding final whistle. A good, hard fought, very satisfying victory which has insured an interesting run – in for the remaining four games of the Vees season.
TTFN --- Max Schroeder – Verulamians RFC
Updated 21:30 - 11 Apr 2018 by Paul McGoohan