Chiswick Move Into Second Place In League

Rugby result: Chiswick 28 Hemel Hempstead 10

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Chiswick moved into second place in the league with a win against a determined Hemel Hempstead side that tackled all day and made the home side work hard for the win and gain a full complement of points.

From the kick off Chiswick started well chasing the ball and winning it to allow Luckman to spread the ball wide, Ade Lewis beat his opposite winger to find Alastair Pickering in support, Pickering was stopped by a fine tackle by the fullback and the ball was spilt forward.

Chiswick continued to press in the next five minutes but resolute defence by Hemel stopped Alastair Pickering for a second time close to the line.

Chiswick then spent the next ten minutes playing nervous rugby and allowed Hemel to gain good ground through a succession of quick rucks and the Fly Half started to release his forwards into gaps that were starting to appear in the Chiswick defence.

Hemel got reward for their hard work with a converted penalty on seven minutes to lead 0-3. Hemel continued to press and missed further penalties on eight and thirteen minutes when the referee judged the defence to be offside. Chiswick scored against the run of play on sixteen minutes when Hood won good ball on the ground and Neil Gill sent out a long pass to Centre Simon Hallett who beat two players before finding Alastair Pickering on his shoulder and he touched down to score the try. Keith Luckman missed the conversion and the core was 5-3.

The home side were clearly buoyed by the score started to put phases together which Hemel managed to repel defiantly, one such raid on their line saw Jon Gibson show quick feet and beat two players down the blindside before releasing Marc Jones who was bundled out in the corner inches from the line. The defensive effort had also greatly improved and big hits from Glenn Tucker, Matt Pickering and Lewis left their opposite men with painful memories of their afternoon.

Chiswick won a penalty on twenty two minutes which Luckman put through the posts to see them lead 8-3. Flanker Chris Morris scored on the half hour mark after a good rolling maul led by Mike Drayson allowed him to peel off from the back and go over, Luckman added the two points and Chiswick were now 15-3 up. The lead remained the same until halftime as Chiswick ended the half with a will to score but not the nous as too often good ball was wasted by personal errors or the wrong decision.

The first ten minutes of the second half mirrored the end of the first as Chiswick continued to pepper the Hemel line only to come away frustrated by good defence or an unenforced error. The away side started to gain confidence and broke away through the midfield before launching a long kick that bounced into touch on the home sides twenty two. From the Lineout tragedy struck when Alastair Pickering received a serious knee injury diving on a loose ball, the match was halted as Pickering was stretchered off and replaced by Cooper. The injury seemed to spur Chiswick and concentrated their play as they immediately spread the ball and Gibson was hauled down illegally, Luckman converted the penalty and the score was 18-3.

On sixty minutes Chiswick scored again after an attack down Hemel's right hand side wasn't dealt with properly and clever play by winger Lewis allowed him to cutback in field and find flanker Tom Adams looping round him and sprint the fifteen metres needed to go over the whitewash, conversion missed 23-3.

With fifteen Minutes to go Stuart Parmeter made way for prop Shane Donaldson who took to the field for his 250th outing in a Chiswick shirt. Unfortunately more errors saw Chiswick again frustrated in the next five minutes as fullback James Hitchmough managed to knock the ball on after being seemingly sent clear by Jones, undeterred Chiswick continued to ask questions of the Hemel defence and Gibson had all the answers on seventy five minutes as he drew two players and sent Jones down his wing to score and unconverted try to make the score 28-3 and give Chiswick the bonus point for four tries.

Hemel were determined to go home with something and finally got their reward after good work from the forwards saw them hammering Chiswick's line which was reduced to fourteen players after Drayson was harshly judged to be offside and yellow carded. The away side quickly managed to use the advantage and scored a converted try on seventy eight minutes to make the score 28-10.

Chiswick were determined to not let their opponents have the last word and in the last play of the match Hallett broke from deep in his own half and put Lewis into space, again good scrambling defence from Hemel and the tired legs of Lewis saw Chiswick fail to score and the match was over, Giving Chiswick a home win despite a patchy performance.

Team: Hitchmough, Jones, Hallett, Gibson, Lewis, Luckman, Gill (Hill)
Parmeter (Donaldson), Tucker, Drayson, M.Pickering, Hood, Adams, Morris, A.Pickering (Cooper)

October 4, 2010