Old Boys scrape victory to keep title hopes alive
UCS Old Boys struggled to beat a spirited Hitchin outfit in their London League division four (north west) clash on Saturday. The win, which eventually came from a Chris Harris try, keeps the Old Boys' title aspirations alive and all but condemns Hitchin
UCS Old Boys struggled to beat a spirited Hitchin outfit in their London League division four (north west) clash on Saturday.
The win, which eventually came from a Chris Harris try, keeps the Old Boys' title aspirations alive and all but condemns Hitchin to relegation.
The home side dominated the opening exchanges and were rewarded with an early penalty.
But as the half wore on, UCS made good use of rolling mauls. Hitchin were forced to concede penalties in order to stop the forward drives and UCS scrum-half Casey Mee punished two such transgressions with successful penalty kicks.
Both sides then had a player sinbinned - Ricky Whitehouse for UCS - after a "harmless piece of handbags", according to Old Boys' Jonny Harper.
It proved a catalyst for Hitchin to score at the end of the half. A quickly taken penalty resulted in their wing going under the posts. The conversion made it 7-6 at the interval.
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Shortly after the restart, a successful Hitchin penalty meant the Old Boys were staring at another defeat.
But yet another indiscretion from the home team allowed Mee to kick into touch and from the ensuing catch-and-drive, Whitehouse redeemed himself with a try.
UCS went on to take the lead when the Hitchin No 8 was flattened by a Dan Sadler tackle. The ball was quickly spun out and good linking from centres Jonathan Friend and Jeremy Innes released wing Chris Harris to touch down.
The final quarter was spent in UCS's 22 as Hitchin threw everything at the Old Boys. But tenacious defending and good clearance kicking allowed the visitors to hold out.
On Saturday, UCS entertain Fullerians in another league clash at Ranulf Road.