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Manor captain Horton draws on positives after H.A.C clash

PUBLISHED: 17:00 11 September 2018

Eton Manor's Jack Emerson passes the ball against H.A.C (pic: Martin Pearl).

Eton Manor's Jack Emerson passes the ball against H.A.C (pic: Martin Pearl).

Archant

The New Wilderness outfit were heading for a second straight win when the visitors levelled the scores late on

Eton Manor and H.A.C played out a 24-24 draw in the London One North at the New Wilderness on Saturday and home skipper Nick Horton had mixed emotions after the topsy-turvy contest.

It was the visitors who made the better start on Manor’s artificial grass pitch and they quickly went 12-0 ahead inside 20 minutes.

Jamie Connors’ men responded strongly, however, and eventually led 24-17 with 65 on the clock only for the away side to cross over in the final exchanges and snatch a point following a thrilling encounter.

Horton said: “It was a weird one. H.A.C started really well and played some positive rugby and we struggled to get hold of the ball in the first 20 minutes.

“We managed to get back into it and we were in the ascendancy and looked good for the win, and so to concede late on and draw was obviously a disappointment, but we can still be happy.

“To come back from 17-7 down and take control was impressive and that is probably something we wouldn’t have done last season, so that’s a big positive.”

After trailing early on, Matt Oaks crashed over to reduce the deficit in the 28th minute at the New Wilderness.

H.A.C hit back strongly again though, and went 17-7 ahead approaching the half time whistle when Horton pounced on a loose ball and sprinted away to run 25 metres and make it 17-12 at the break.

Manor began the second period positively and when the visitors had a man sent to the sin bin, the hosts’ took full advantage with Oaks going over for his second and Jack Emerson showing great strength to get over the try line despite a few obstacles.

In front at 24-17, Connors’ men were on course for a second consecutive victory until H.A.C worked the overlap and successfully kicked the conversation to snatch a 24-24 draw at the New Wilderness.

“We have been asking each other to step up and take the game by the scruff of the neck and so far people have,” Horton said.

“In the first game against Southend we were behind at 12-10 and come back to win and we fought back against HAC, but unfortunately couldn’t hold out until the end.”

Nevertheless, Manor remain unbeaten after two matches with eight points to their name ahead of this weekend’s home clash with Fullerians.

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