Little went right for Enfield Ignatians as they suffered a disappointing 26-17 loss to Hackney in what was billed as a must-win game at Donkey Lane on Saturday.

In a game played in dreadful conditions due to a combination of a biting icy wind and driving rain, the error prone blue and golds made far too many mistakes to leave them trailing 14-0 at the break.

Lady Luck was clearly not on Enfield’s side as injuries to full-back Luke Haverly, and wingers Sam Emery and Harry Masini, also forced them to rejig their backline options.

Having missed a first-half kick at goal, Ignatians successfully carved an overlap which resulted in man-of-the-match Ben Mills playing in the returning Charlie Hoy in the third quarter.

Jordan Wilson added the extras before landing a well-struck penalty as Ignatians moved to within four points of Hackney.

A comedy of errors then ensued as, with a handful of Ignatians defenders beaten by acruel bounce of the ball, Hackney hacked their way up field for an opportunistic third try.

Cue another Enfield fightback and, with the hosts bossing the forward exchanges, some good chasing work by Hoy and Dave Gear cornered Hackney behind their own line.

However, in the ensuing confusion, Hackney failed to protect the ball and Gear, conscious of the fact that there is no offside line in the in-goal area, pounced for the blue and golds’ second try.

Wilson added the extras and, with Hackney coming off their feet and going to ground, the scrum-half was given an opportunity of a third penalty attempt which would have inched the hosts in front.

It was a key moment in the game but, crucially, it was missed and Hackney made the most of the reprieve by camping close to the opposition line in the dying minutes.

Ignatians still had a chance to clear their lines on their own put in to the scrum but, fatally, they dithered at the back and with the ball deemed out, the Hackney scrum-half pounced, wrestled control and successfully released his right winger.

To compound Ignatians’ woes, the successful conversion denied the blue and a golds a losing bonus point leaving them to share eighth spot with Hackney and Grasshoppers in the11-horse London Two North-West field.

Hugely disappointed player-coach Shane Manning said: “Our off-loading game didn’t work in the conditions and, as a result, we ended up by spilling too much ball as well as conceding silly penalties. It’s back to the drawing board.”