Hatfield 1st v Datchworth 2nd 2019
Hatfield 1st v Datchworth 2nd 2019

Hatfield started brightly on the hot day against a Datchworth 2nd team that had been relegated from Herts Merit Table 1 last year.  Datchworth kicked off straight to Stuart Yule who made 30 yards after breaking three tackles and then finally offloading in contact to ensure 60 yards gain. 

Datchworth rallied for a few minutes but Hatfield continued the pressure and forced the first scrum of the day that the well drilled Hatfield pack pushed Datch backwards 10 yards to draw a penalty 10 yards out from the line, Hatfield opted for the scrum and again pushed Datch back resulting in number 8 George Stone getting the first try of the game on 7 minutes.  Charlie Gibbs converted.

Hatfield maintained the tempo after the restart and after well-disciplined attacking control by Mexican scrumhalf Eddie Valdez got them to the Datch 22 a penalty crash ball move resulted in a clean break by the forwards with a perfectly timed off load to Valdez he crossed for the second try on 10 minutes, again converted by Gibbs

The resulting restart again landed in Yule’s arms who again made huge gains before being stopped and offloading to wing Arjun Chandrakanthan who made a further 20 yards only to be pulled down by his neck in what could have been a penalty try but was just a standard penalty that Gibbs converted to make the score 17 – 0 to Hatfield after just 15 minutes.

The water break at 20 minutes allowed Datch to re-group and the started to gain more of the ball but no real gains until a broken defensive line gave Datch a clear run to score under the posts.  This seemed to energise Datch and they continued to put Hatfield under pressure and after winning a penalty on the half way line they took a quick tap and broke Hatfield’s lines again.  The break was stopped by a heroic tackle from Kieran O’Shea but that just delayed the inevitable with the next phase Datch scored the try, the conversion was missed.  This concluded the first half making the score 17-12 to Hatfield.

The second half was a much tighter affair with no scoring for the first 20 minutes until Hatfield mounted a series of attacks resulting in some mistakes in the Datch defence and allowing man of the match George Stone to crash over in the corner making it 24-12.  Hatfield seemed to then switch off and a lack of match fitness told when Datch again broke through the Hatfield line scoring a converted try to make the score 24-19 with only 5 mins to play.  Hatfield seemed to have the game under control but with the last play of the game Datch won a penalty on the halfway line and ran the ball through a number a phases and created an overlap on the wing to score, keeping his nerve Datch’s kicker converted to claim the win 26-24.