Date: Sat 28th Jan 2017
Harlow Rams 55 – Hitchin 12
The Rams traveled to Hitchin on Saturday for a friendly fixture following the cancellation of the scheduled league encounter with Chingford.
The two teams had met for a preseason match on 3rd September where The Rams just managed to win a close encounter 17-10. Saturday was to show the vast strides made by the squad since then.
The Rams started well but in their eagerness to play an expansive game a loose pass saw them surrendering soft possession to the home team on the halfway line and, following a brief period of Hitchin attacking play, found themselves 5 points down with only 5 minutes on the clock.
This early setback focused The Rams on the task at hand and they quickly began to take full control of the match. Strong driving play from the pack sucked in the Hitchin defence before the ball was shipped out wide to the rapidly advancing Dale Stalley who outpaced the cover defence and dived over in the corner.
Hitchin came back strongly but the Harlow defence was up to the task, dominating the breakdown battle and quickly turning over the ball. The home team had little answer to the pace of the Harlow game and, following some intricate midfield interplay, Will Grimley touched down for the second Rams score of the day; 05-10.
This was closely followed by a third Harlow score; Alfie Clark the next to pierce through the Hitchin defence; 05-15 and the visitors firmly on the front foot.
The forwards joined in the scoring with quick fire touchdowns by Barrie Hussey and Dan Stevenson before Stalley rounded off the half by running in his second of the day.
The second half had barely got underway before Stalley raced in for his third and Harlow now had a commanding 05-41.
The home team rallied briefly and finally forced an opening in the Harlow defence; 12-41 but The Rams were far from finished.
Powerful play from the pack again created space out wide for the backs to exploit. The ball shipped speedily down the line to debutante winger Tom Allen. The new Rams wing had only been on the pitch for a matter of minutes and soon showed he has no lack of pace as he outstripped the Hitchin cover defence to place the ball down beside the righthand upright; 05-48.
Hitchin again rallied but were now finding it increasingly harder to gain any forward momentum as the Harlow breakdown work constantly forced the turnover.
One final score and it was again Stalley who provided it, ghosting through the gap in the Hitchin backline before outpacing the desperate chasers to go over for his fourth of the day; 05-5.
Try; D. Stalley (4), W. Grimley, D. Stevenson, B. Hussey, A. Clark, T. Allen
Con; C. Clark (5)
1. Danny Fitz
2. Mitchell Hodgkinson
3. Barrie Hussey
4. Dan Stevenson
5. Charlie Robinson
6. Owen Blissett
7. Wayne Heapy
8. James Clark
9. Alfie Clark
10. Chay ClARK
11. Dale Stalley
12. Ryan Clark
13. Will Grimley
14. Ashley Westall
15. Jack Almond
16. Ross Ashcroft
17. Dan McCarthy
18. Dan Makepeace
19. Tom Allen
20. Eric Penney
21. James Chapman